(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Mrs. Percy V. Pennybacker : an appreciation"

asson 

MBRHR3T 




MRS. 

PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

AN APPRECIATION 



It has been my privilege to entertain Mrs. Percy 
V. Pennybacker at the Vice Regal Lodge, Dublin, and 
at Toronto. I have seen her pressed with engage- 
ments and responsibilities of an urgent character; 
I have seen and heard her on the public platform, 
and I have seen her in the intimacy of private inter- 
course. Under all these circumstances and many 
others she has always impressed me as a woman of 
rare gifts and character — a born leader and eloquent 
speaker and yet so gentle and unassuming — so dainty 
and yet so strenuous — carrying on all her work with 
so much system and order and at the same time always 
ready to adapt herself to the need of the hour — full 
of enthusiasm and inspiration in public causes, but 
at the same time always breathing out an atmosphere 
of home and friendship and motherhood. Such is 
the woman that I have found at the head of the great 
General Federation of Women's Clubs. 

I join with her many friends in congratulating her 
on her four years of brilliant administration of that 
high office, and on the development of the Club move- 
ment during that period along lines which will make 
it more and more a vast power for good. 

Our best wishes go with her for herself, her chil- 
dren, and for the future labors for which these years 
of enrichment of her own life have been surely 
preparing her. 

— Lady Aberdeen. 



MRS. PERCY V. 
PENNYBACKER 

AN APPRECIATION 




BY 



HELEN KNOX 



ILLUSTRATED 



New York Chicago Toronto 

Fleming H. Revell Company 

London and Edinburgh 



43400 



Copyright, 1916, by 
FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY 



New York : 158 Fifth Avenue 
Chicago: 17 North Wabash Ave. 
Toronto: 25 Richmond Street, W. 
London : 21 Paternoster Square 
Edinburgh : 100 Princes Street 



R01bl3 1*3^0 



TO THE WOMEN OF HIGH IDEALS, OP SYMPATHETIC 
UNDERSTANDING, OF GENEROUS APPRECIA- 
TION, WHO HAVE MADE THE WOMEN'S 
CLUBS A VITAL FORCE FOR GOOD 



It has been my pleasure now for over three 
years to have enjoyed the most delightful of busi- 
ness relations with Mrs. Pennybacker, which, to 
my advantage, have extended to a personal 
friendship. And from what I know of her zeal 
in her work during that time and her rare execu- 
tive ability, I believe that the General Federa- 
tion of Women's Clubs will look back to Mrs. 
Pennybacker^s presidency as one of the most 
harmonious and successful administrations in its 
history. Ability counts for much in any admin- 
istration of so important an office, but tact 
counts for even more, and both of these qualities 
are possessed to an unusual degree by this sweet- 
natured woman from Texas. The Editors of 
The Ladies' Home Journal will be sorry to lose 
her co-operation in their work. 

— Edward Bok 
(Editor Ladies' Home Journal), 



PREFACE 

AS the New York Biennial in May, 
1916, marks the close, for a 
time at least, of Mrs. Penny- 
backer's official relationship with the 
General Federation of Women's Clubs, 
—that great body of two million women 
at work on the problems confronting 
the modern woman— it seems appro- 
priate for her friends to honor this an- 
niversary occasion by a tribute to her 
faithfulness and accomplishment. 

Though Mrs. Pennybacker has 
kindly furnished the historical facts 
of this book, the remainder of the ma- 
terial has been collected by the writer 
through correspondence and personal 
interviews with others, in an effort to 
present a truer characterization. 

In this labor of love, every section of 
the country and every interest of the 
modern woman are represented. The 
eager and joyous response of these 

7 



8 PREFACE 

many friends in contributing to this 
book— often under the stress of illness 
and the pressure of private interests— 
reflects a spirit that gives added em- 
phasis to their words of appreciation. 

For the writer, the book is a grateful 
acknowledgment of the inspiring ser- 
vice of Mrs. Pennybacker, from one of 
the many college women of the genera- 
tion who delights to honor this friend of 
youth. 

Helen Knox. 

Evergreen Lodge, 
Giddings, Texas. 



CONTENTS 

I The Little Girl .... 15 

II The School-Girl ... 27 

III The Student 35 

IV The Educator .... 45 

V The Wife and Mother ... 67 

VI The Author 85 

VII The Traveler 97 

VIII The Club Woman . . .137 

IX The Speaker 167 

X The Woman 181 



I appreciate very much this opportunity to 
join in a tribute to Mrs. Pennybacker. Her 
untiring and judicious services to the high 
cause of true womanliness are known the coun- 
try over. But we of Texas, who have valued her 
as a friend and a neighbor, also know, and re- 
joice in knowing, that her broad service to so 
great a cause has sprung quite naturally from 
her fine and thoughtful devotion in her home 
community and her own home, and thus see in 
her rounded life an example of rare worth. 
— Sydney E. Mezes 
(President College of the City of New York). 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



Mrs. Percy V. Pennybacker . 
The Sam Houston Normal . 


. Frontispiece 

Facing Page 

. 40 


Mr. Percy V. Pennybacker 


70 


Ruth Pennybacker 


. 156 


The Pennybacker Home . 


188 



Mrs. Pennybacker is an excellent illustration 
of the practical and efficient woman. Thoroughly 
womanly, with a great mind and excellent judg- 
ment, she is well equipped for filling positions 
of responsibility. 

— William Jennings Bryan. 



I 

THE LITTLE GIRL 



to 



3400 



Many fathers and mothers rail against the 
manners of the young people of to-day and 
against their forms of amusement. What are 
these same parents doing to surround their 
children with proper forms of entertainment? 
Let us resolve to help one another in maintaining 
that high standard of society that calls out the 
best in all ages, and yet encourages joy, nay, 
even a certain amount of frivolity among the 
young. 

— Mrs. Pennybackeb. 




THE LITTLE GIRL 

"A lovely being, scarcely formed or moulded, 
A rose with all its sweetest leaves yet folded." 

— Byron. 



THERE was once a Little Girl 
who always dreaded to go to 
sleep for fear slie would die 
before she waked and not leave any- 
thing behind her. "If I should die be- 
fore I wake," nightly sent a shudder 
through her little frame, for the desire 
to leave a permanent contribution to the 
race was so elemental in her nature that 
it might almost be classed as an instinct. 
As the days and years passed by, this 
insatiable longing found expression in 
a burning thirst for knowledge— not a 
polished external veneer— but knowl- 
edge that gives in bounteous propor- 
tions, light, freedom, beauty and good- 

15 



16 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYRACKER 

ness. And regardless of her other 
interests and activities, this unswerv- 
ing devotion to learning, for learning's 
sake alone, has been the dominant in- 
fluence in the life history of Mrs. Percy 
V. Pennybacker. 

Anna McLaughlin Hardwicke was 
born May 7, 1861, in Petersburg, Vir- 
ginia. Her father and mother were 
both Virginians of the good old 
substantial, soil-loving, home-abiding 
stock. Her father, Dr. J. B. Hard- 
wicke, was a Baptist minister and was 
undoubtedly gifted as a speaker and a 
writer. The following sketch gives a 
vivid picture of the good man: it was 
written by Dr. J. B. Cranfill, who for 
years was the Baptist Secretary of Mis- 
sions for Texas, and during such time 
was closely associated with Dr. Hard- 
wicke, and often heard him speak and 
preach : 

"Among the strong, forceful, leaders in Texas 
a quarter century ago, none was more sincerely 
devoted to the Baptist cause than the subject of 
this sketch. Physically, he was a man of mark 
in any assembly. Tall, dignified, stately, of 



THE LITTLE GIEL 17 

commanding appearance, more than six feet in 
height, he would have attracted attention any- 
where. His face was rugged, marked with 
strong lines indicative of high intellectuality 
and lofty purpose. 

"Mentally, he was a man of unusual equip- 
ment. His brain was massive ; his mind was well 
trained; and his methods of thought were sane 
and orderly. Naturally endowed with mentality 
of a high order, he had cultivated his mind until 
it was richly stored, not only with expert knowl- 
edge along the lines of his great life work, but 
also with a wide range of other valuable infor- 
mation. He was what in common speech we call 
a f well-read man/ Always alert, he kept in 
touch with the throbbing, pulsing world around 
him. His grasp of intellect took in every phase 
of life, and he was wonderfully well informed, 
not only upon topics literary, scientific, sociologi- 
cal, and practical, but he was expertly alive to 
current events. Thus equipped, he was always 
ready for extemporaneous speaking, in which he 
excelled. 

"It was, however, as a minister of the Gospel 
that Dr. J. B. Hardwicke shone with resplendent 
luster. He held a number of important pas- 
torates in Texas and in other states. As a 
preacher, he was soulful, methodical, and highly 
effective. His method of homiletical endeavor 
was systematic, forceful, cumulative. It was 
the writer's pleasure to have heard him in our 



18 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

Baptist General Meetings many times. He was 
capable of reaching lofty heights in his pulpit 
work ; and when his heart and mind were aflame 
with any great subject, he was in every way 
logical, unctious, and convincing. 

"As a friend, Dr. Hardwicke was loving, 
tender, and most faithful. He was trained in 
the old school of warm and enduring friend- 
ships. He never betrayed a trust, and never at 
any time, under any conditions, wavered in his 
loyalty to any friend or any cause. There was 
nothing of the spectacular in him. He never 
wrote or spoke just to be writing or speaking. 
There was a distinct purpose in everything he 
said and did. He was capable of hot indigna- 
tion, but his heart was as tender and gentle 
as that of any woman. 

"The fires of his life burned with such bril- 
liancy that his vitality was consumed before 
he had reached his three score years and ten. 
He fell with his face to the front, unblanched 
by the fear of any foe, and unafraid when he 
looked into the grim visage of man's last enemy 
— death. He died in the triumphs of sublime 
faith in Christ, and he was gathered to the 
innumerable company of the redeemed on high. 

"In summing up the life of Dr. J. B. Hard- 
wicke, there is one word that keeps recurring. 
It is the word 'ponderous.' He was a big man. 
He was big in body ; big in brain ; big in heart ; 
big in life. His place in the ranks of Texas 



THE LITTLE GIRL 19 

Baptists has never quite been filled. Those of 
us who knew him best will never recover from 
the sense of loss all of us felt when he went 
home. But his work will go on until all things 
earthly find their end." 

The father and daughter were con- 
stantly together, and the influence of 
the father became a vital factor in the 
development of the strong character of 
Anna Hardwicke. The peculiar, inex- 
plicable bond of human sympathy — 
the mutual understanding, that at once 
establishes confidence, respect and 
peace, in the relationship — the sense 
of congenial interests, these were fore- 
' most in the consciousness of Dr. Hard- 
wicke and of his little daughter, Anna, 
though she had not at this age formu- 
lated the psychology of her experience. 
Her mother, though possessing the 
usual accomplishments of a Virginia 
belle of that day, was f^r in advance 
in mental qualifications. She had the 
making of a good student ; she had a re- 
markable gift for figures, and really 
loved study. But though her father 
had been financially able to give her 



20 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

every opportunity, her schooling was 
meager, as custom in Virginia at this 
time decreed that a girl should stop 
school at the age of sixteen. 

When still very young, she was mar- 
ried, assuming at once the responsibili- 
ties of home-making — responsibilities 
far more weighty then, when the mis- 
tress of the home must rely almost en- 
tirely upon her own inventive powers, 
than now, when the lady of the house 
can gratify every whim over the tele- 
phone without more personal inconve- 
nience than the payment of her bills at 
the first of the month. Mrs. Hard- 
wicke's thought of life, however, was 
not smothered by her household care; 
for even though eight children came to 
the home, she still found time, as the 
years went by, for active work in the 
missionary societies of Dr. Hardwicke's 
churches. Her ambition for her chil- 
dren never waned. She was sadly dis- 
appointed that none of them became 
a foreign missionary or a minister. 

The state of Virginia, soon after the 
birth of this Little Girl, came to be the 



THE LITTLE GIRL 21 

chief battle-ground of the Civil War; 
and Petersburg, a very old Virginia set- 
tlement, was the scene of much fight- 
ing. Dr. Hardwicke, at the opening of 
the war, joined the Confederate Army 
as a chaplain, leaving Mrs. Hardwicke 
at home alone with the children. When 
Anna was three years old, her mother, 
like many others, was forced to flee 
with her small children from the dan- 
gers surrounding her home, so that the 
stress of life began early for this Little 
Girl. 

After reaching Fayetteville, North 
Carolina, their destination, they found 
their troubles were not at an end, for 
in due time raiders came to their new 
shelter. Prying into every conceivable 
cranny, these raiders soon discovered 
the little supply of flour that the fore- 
thought of the mother had concealed in 
a barrel, disguised as a dressing table. 
As they were rummaging through 
things, they came upon Dr. Hard- 
wicke 's Masonic apron. Quietly, one 
by one, they left the place. After a 
time, a messenger was sent to offer a 



22 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

guard, as "the lady was alone with the 
children." The guard was accordingly- 
established in the home, and a young 
lieutenant called often to make sure 
that the family was protected. 

Mrs. Hardwicke keenly appreciated 
this service; for though sectional feel- 
ing was very bitter during the War, she 
was a broad-minded woman. The small 
members of the family, however, im- 
bibed some of the bitterness from their 
playmates. The following incident, 
though incongruous with the sense of 
nationalism, as of internationalism, 
that controls the life of Mrs. Penny- 
backer, illustrates the depth of feeling, 
even from her infancy, that has made 
her life rich and abundant. The lieu- 
tenant and the Little Girl soon became 
great friends. He beguiled many an 
hour for her as she sat on his knee 
listening to his ever fresh stories. One 
day, as she was fingering the buttons 
on his coat, she recognized that his uni- 
form was not like her father's— that, 
therefore, he was not one of her beloved 
Confederate soldiers. Without warn- 



THE LITTLE GIRL 23 

ing, she burst into inconsolable weep- 
ing. The perplexed lieutenant finally 
drew from her the almost inaudible 
wail, "Oh! You are a Yankee! Oh! 
You are a Yankee!" "Haven't I been 
good to you, though?" he asked. 
"Yes," came the sob, "but if you are a 
Yankee, you can't go to heaven when 
you die!" 

Learning to read when she was four 
years of age, the Little Girl began early 
her search for knowledge. And from 
this time on, through the period of ado- 
lescence, she was filled with introspec- 
tive feelings that sometimes brought 
her joy and sometimes made her feel 
that she was the unhappiest Little Girl 
in the world. What an unforeseen de- 
velopment that out of a period of de- 
struction and strife should emerge a 
character conspicuous, in a succeeding 
generation, for constructive genius and 
harmonizing power! 



II 

THE SCHOOL-GIRL 



Every girl should be trained for the richest, 
broadest life, which means that she must be 
trained for wifehood, home-making, home-keep- 
ing, and citizenship. 

— Mrs. Pennybacker. 






II 

THE SCHOOL-GIRL 

"Full swells the deep, pure fountain of young 
life/' —Byron. 

WHEN little Anna Hardwicke 
was six years of age, the 
family moved to West Vir- 
ginia. She was now put in the public 
school— before this, she had attended 
only private schools— and here she re- 
ceived the fundamentals of her later 
broad education. At this time, the 
problems of life opened their perplex- 
ing questions. The child student did 
not care for dolls ; yet she realized that 
this fact must be to her discredit, as all 
little girls were supposed to love dolls, 
and so she thought something must be 
wrong with her. 

A second cross was the study of 
music. Her mother's ambition for her 

27 



28 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

daughter's accomplishments was paral- 
lel to her determination that she should 
be well educated. Anna, however, had 
absolutely no musical talent ; and until 
her mother was convinced of this fact 
and ready to adjust herself to the in- 
evitable, both were miserable about it. 

At this time, too, an incident occurred 
that made a strong impression on the 
child mind. She saw a little girl one 
day who wore a beautiful coat and hood. 
That night she prayed earnestly that 
she might have such an outfit. The next 
day, they both arrived. The answer to 
her prayer came so quickly that she 
thought life's problems all solved— and 
oh, the bitterness of the disillusion- 
ment! 

Five years of residence in the same 
field was then unusual for a minister. 
It was natural, therefore, that Dr. 
Hardwicke should pass on from West 
Virginia, in 1873, to Atchison, Kansas. 
Anna was immediately established in a 
good school, where she was markedly 
influenced by a notable teacher. She 
was a hero-worshiper and was con- 



THE SCHOOL-GIRL 29 

vinced that this one was not made of 
ordinary clay. In church, she would 
direct her gaze to the back of the teach- 
er's head; and if the teacher should 
turn, as she frequently did, and smile 
upon her, she was blissfully happy for 
the day. 

From Atchison, the family moved to 
Leavenworth, Kansas, during 1875. 
Leavenworth then, as now, boasted an 
excellent high school, its graduates 
being admitted without examination 
into Eastern colleges. Anna Hardwicke 
was soon recognized as a student of 
rare enthusiasm. She was always 
happy in school, for it gave the atmos- 
phere that her nature demanded ifor 
very existence. Examinations were no 
bugaboo, but were looked forward to in 
the spirit of a war horse eager for 
battle. 

It was here, too, that real friendships 
developed— the beginning of an experi- 
ence which has proved one of the rich- 
est blessings of her abundant life. 
There were nine girls and four boys in 
the senior class. The girls called them- 



30 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBAOKER 

selves "The Nine Muses." Anna named 
them; and, in a new spirit of hilarity, 
she sarcastically dubbed herself, "The 
Muse of Tragedy." She had al- 
ways disliked her given name, "Anna 
McLaughlin"— had often speculated 
upon ways and means of substituting 
another. Finally, she concluded that it 
was impossible to change the "Anna," 
by which she was known, but that she 
could change the "McLaughlin." So, 
she named herself "J — -," and took a 
secret vow never to reveal the meaning 
of the initial "J," that she now used in 
place of the McLaughlin, until grad- 
uation from Ann Arbor, Michigan, 
where she planned to pursue her college 
course. The Ann Arbor ideal, how- 
ever, never materialized; so, until this 
day, she has remained true to her vow, 
and husband, children, or friends have 
never known more than "Anna J." as 
her given name. 

The love of study grew day by day. 
The great outdoors being practically in- 
accessible — except for an occasional 
week-end house party in the country— 



THE SCHOOL-GIRL 31 

her only and treasured opportunity for 
acquaintance with nature— she devoted 
herself primarily to school work. Tak- 
ing private lessons in Greek, she re- 
ceived much inspiration from associa- 
tion with her professor. He told her 
the story of his own search for knowl- 
edge, of his working his way through 
Harvard, of his love for the classics, 
and discussed with her her own plans 
and ideals. Under the guidance of such 
a man, there is no surprise in the an- 
nouncement that Anna J. Hardwicke 
graduated from the Leavenworth High 
School at the head of her class, and that 
she chose for her graduating thesis, 
"The Value of Epic Poetry." 



Ill 

THE STUDENT 



I think from the experience that I have had 
in both sections, that the Northern women, as a 
class, are more thoroughly educated than those 
of the South. But this is natural, since in the 
North, for years, every town and city has had 
its public schools, while in the South these are 
a modern institution. But this state of things 
will not last long. I notice in schools of this 
State that, as a general rule, the scholars from 
the South have quicker minds than the others, 
but often lack in application; they generally 
stand well in their classes. 

— Anna J. Hardwicke 
(When a school-girl of fifteen). 






Ill 

THE STUDENT 

"Learning by study must be won, 
'Twas ne'er entailed from sire to son." 

—Gay. 

THE nature of their response to 
stimuli is an important test in 
the classification of the lower 
forms of life. The nature of their ad- 
justment to environment is no less an 
important test in the classification of 
the higher forms of life. The inherent 
power of the individual to master cir- 
cumstance rather than to submit to its 
caprice is one of the differentiating 
marks separating man from beast. 

Anna Hardwicke possessed this 
power of mastery of the external forces, 
and in the capacity for study under ad- 
verse conditions revealed the first sug- 
gestion of her destiny. 

35 



36 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

The family moved to Bryan, Texas, 
in 1878, and here the young high school 
graduate saw little opportunity for the 
continuance of her self-planned edu- 
cational program. The fertile valley 
and the wide expanse of blue sky, 
though a delight to the eye, furnished 
little encouragement to the mind daily 
hungering for the bread of truth. 
Where were the books for further 
study? Like the prophet Jeremiah, 
there was in her heart as it were "a 
burning fire shut up" . . . and she 
' ' could not contain it. ' ' Not many days 
passed, however, before she discovered 
the small library of the Agricultural 
and Mechanical College, four miles 
away. To this she drove every Satur- 
day, selecting the books for the study of 
the following week, and soon arranging 
for private lessons in Latin and Greek 
at the college. One day while reading 
Charlotte Bronte's The Professor, she 
found herself stumbling awkwardly 
over the many French phrases of the 
book, and determined then and there 
to take up the study of French. In 



THE STUDENT 37 

this resolution she persevered until she 
had mastered the grammar reasonably- 
well and had gained some appreciation 
of French literature. 

As a student, she liked everything 
but mathematics and those branches 
of science that depend on mathe- 
matics. Her tastes in literature were 
of such wide range that she was never 
able to list her favorite authors 
and books. In the summer of her fif- 
teenth year, she read one book every 
two days, for three successive months. 
While this was a task it was also a de- 
light to her. Nor were her chosen books 
selected from that section of the library 
that Mr. Hawthorne brands as " rub- 
bish" or that Dr. Elliott calls, "the 
cemetery of dead books." They were 
selected from shelves labeled, "The 
Greek Drama," "Latin Poetry," "The 
Philosophy of the Middle Ages," 
and "History" (studied from the view- 
point of the art, literature, politics, and 
religion, of the world's civilizations), as 
well as German, French and English 
literature of more modern date. 



38 MRS. PEECY V. PENNYBACKER 

Her ambition was always whispering : 
"Do your very best each day"— a voice 
so persistent that the claims of "re- 
sults" were never audible. Indeed all 
her life she has ignored the search for 
1 i results. ' ' Afire with such a spirit, her 
days were never idle. She early became 
a tireless worker. When other members 
of the family sought rest at night, she 
delighted to take possession of her 
father's study and often she remained 
there until the wee hours of the 
morning. She and her father were con- 
genial comrades, and he often per- 
mitted her to study with him in his 
sanctum; for though he heartily dis- 
liked interruptions, so did his daughter, 
and they got along famously together. 
But she was never satisfied with her 
day's work; and when, finally, the light 
must be extinguished, she coveted sev- 
eral more hours of study. Oh, if only 
she could verify each reference and be 
sure of the correctness of each word in 
her translation! 

It is a question whether her education 
would have been so thorough had she 



THE STUDENT 39 

depended, during a four years' college 
course, upon the criticism and sug- 
gestion of instructors, whose judgment 
so far as she was concerned must neces- 
sarily be based chiefly on external ob- 
servations. Accuracy with her de- 
served no special comment ; its absence, 
however, was intolerable. 

A girlhood friend gives the following 
picture of Anna Hardwicke at this age : 

"I had just returned to Bryan from college 
when I learned that we were to have a new 
minister, and was especially interested in the 
fact that among the members of his family was 
a young lady daughter. I recall as if yesterday 
this rosy-cheeked, earnest-eyed maiden, scarce 
seventeen, who was so different from the every- 
day conventional girl of our small Texas city. 
She, too, had just graduated; and, as I look 
back over the years, I realize that, even at this 
early stage of her life, she was inspired with 
a purpose to accomplish things worth while — 
big things, it seems to me now. 

"She appeared never to have passed any for- 
mative period as to her purpose in life; and 
while she was a normal girl, in that she enjoyed 
pretty clothes, beaux, and such interests, these 
things never at any time filled her life. 

"She organized a small private school that 



40 MRS. PEECY V. PENNYBACKER 

summer, and how well I remember with what 
spirit and fire she had her pupils recite in 
unison, 'The Charge of the Light Brigade': 

'Cannon to right of them, 
Cannon to left of them, 
Cannon in front of them, 
Volleyed and thundered!' 

I am sure this style of poetry must have ap- 
pealed strongly to her youthful enthusiasm, 
which even our hottest summer weather, through 
which she was then teaching, could not lessen." 

In the year 1879, much interest was 
manifested in the state by the announce- 
ment that in September the first Normal 
School for teachers would be formally 
opened at Huntsville, and by the supple- 
mentary statement that the Peabody 
Fund would provide scholarships, in- 
cluding board and tuition, books and 
laundry. The scholarships were to be 
awarded to the applicant making the 
highest average in a set of examinations 
conducted in each Congressional dis- 
trict. 

Anna Hardwicke decided to attempt 
this competitive test, anticipating a 



THE STUDENT 41 

rush of applicants. But when she and 
her father reached the place of ex- 
amination, they found only three or 
four contestants. She was graded one 
hundred per cent in everything and 
was awarded the scholarship for her 
district. The memory of this slip of a 
girl, with her bright, cheery smile, as she 
entered the first class of this school, still 
lingers with her classmates, who are 
numbered among the most prominent 
educators of Texas to-day. During the 
spring term, she was selected to teach 
the model school for two months at 
twenty dollars per month. This sum 
supplied her spring outfit of clothes. 
In this connection, the same friend con- 
tinues : 

"At eighteen years, she was too deeply en- 
grossed in weighty matters to give much thought 
to dress. There was generally a consultation 
with one of her trusted friends as to the require- 
ments of her wardrobe. This friend acted as 
purchasing agent, often standing for the dress- 
fitting, and having the finished garment sent to 
her. After her return from Huntsville, Anna 
often spoke of President S — 's daughter, whose 
charm of manner and taste in dress seemed to 



42 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

have made an impression on her, as she brought 
back with her a little book of 'Ugly Girl Papers/ 
which we read most studiously/' 

Her enthusiasm for study and her un- 
conscious charm of manner soon made 
her a favorite among faculty and stu- 
dents—and the particular favorite of 
a certain student, Mr. Percy V. Penny- 
backer. There was a distinct wave of 
satisfaction, therefore, when she was 
selected as one of the two honor grad- 
uates of this historic class. 



IV 

THE EDUCATOR 



From a beginning not free of all difficulties, 
but full of hope and promise, she has moved 
with charming ease and grace from one great 
achievement to others still greater, each and all 
reflecting honor upon her state and glory upon 
herself and womankind. 

All Texas is proud of the gifted Mrs. Penny- 
backer. Her fame is co-extensive with the liter- 
ary and educational world. Her influence in the 
betterment of home life has entered into the 
hopes and inspirations of good men and women 
in both Europe and America. 

The historian, the educator, the orator, the un- 
selfish and, best of all, the ideal mother, cul- 
tured, true and genuine — such a woman is a 
blessing to the age in which she lives and an in- 
spiration to those who will come after her. 
— Thomas M. Campbell 
(Ex-Governor of Texas). 



IV 
THE EDUCATOR 

"Delightful task to rear the tender thought." 

— Thomson. 

THAT Anna Hardwicke was born 
with a great soul and a great 
purpose, there can be no doubt. 
As early as she can remember, she pos- 
sessed plans and purposes from which 
there has been no deviation, but a 
gradual, growing fulfillment, all her 
life. One of these purposes was to 
teach. Why, she knew not,— there was 
no need to know. This confident sense 
of her calling in some measure accounts 
for her extraordinary love of her teach- 
ers, a love which ennobled anew her 
chosen profession and permanently 
crystallized her determination. At the 
close of her high school course, she 

45 



46 MRS. PEECY V. PENNYBACKER 

was elected supernumerary for the 
coming year, a position introductory, at 
that time, to the teaching profession. 
The move to Bryan, Texas, was a great 
disappointment to her, a disappoint- 
ment, insignificant, however, to that ex- 
perienced the following year. At her 
graduation the President of the Normal 
had told her of his intention to recom- 
mend her for a place on the faculty. 
She became radiant with expectation, 
but, alas, one day he came to her home 
in Bryan to break the news of his 
failure to secure her appointment. He 
said that Governor Roberts, Chairman 
of the appointing Board, had laughed 
at the suggestion, saying: "What, that 
rosy-cheeked girl? Let her grow up 
first!" 

But some defeats are more tri- 
umphant than victories, and this one 
proved a blessing in disguise. She 
should not have undertaken to teach 
pupils older than herself, yet her hurt 
was very keen at the time. She thought, 
"How strange that the sun can be 
shining, the birds singing, and the 



THE EDUCATOR 47 

world look the same, when I can never 
be happy again." 

That fall, Bryan decided to have 
public schools. Mr. Percy V. Penny- 
backer was elected superintendent, and 
Anna Hardwicke as one of the teachers, 
on the princely salary of forty dollars 
per month. President Smith of the 
Normal, the father of Senator Hoke 
Smith of Georgia, one of the many 
valuable friends who have enriched her 
life, wrote to remind her, as he said, 
that she was drawing fifteen dollars for 
teaching and twenty-five dollars for 
not worrying, and for showing her 
dimples. Imagine this young girl of 
nineteen facing, on the first day of 
school, sixty children seated in chairs 
unscrewed to the floor and excited over 
the new teacher and the parent visitors. 
The question immediately came to her 
mind, "What is the first thing to do?" 
The answer was unqualified: "Keep 
order at any cost." So she told a ghost 
story. Her stories have been always a 
delight and marvel to her friends, and 
this exhibition of the art so completely 



48 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

won the admiration of all the pupils 
that the victory was hers from that 
moment. The unique human qualities 
of this young teacher, which gave her a 
peculiarly close relation to the pupils, 
are well described by two friends: 

"She won the hearts of her pupils by her tact 
and enthusiasm, and of the patrons by her ef- 
ficiency, and the good work accomplished with 
their children. The first thing she did when her 
room was assigned was to put up curtains to the 
windows. This was long before the days of 
'Mothers' Clubs' and 'Civic Pride Movements.' 
I remember the great number of tall windows 
in her room and the seemingly endless length of 
the hems and casings. At that time she decided 
that she might marry a tailor. 

"When the first day of April came, having re- 
ceived the consent of the parents of the children, 
she and all her pupils hied themselves to the 
woods for a picnic. When the superintendent 
returned from visiting another school, he was 
shocked to find her room entirely vacant and on 
her desk a note something like this : 'I am men- 
tally and physically unable to teach to-day.' It 
was quite distressing to see the consternation of 
the superintendent. Most of all, probably, be- 
cause he was personally interested in the little 
runaway teacher, and feared what the school 



THE EDUCATOR 49 

board might say. But when he presented the 
matter to that august body, they simply smiled 
and dismissed it with the remark that she was 
just a girl, and wanted some pleasure. 

"In looking back at life through maturer eyes, 
it seems to me that the keynote of her character 
has ever been, 'Seek out your limitations and 
there go to work.'" 

"I was a little girl of only ten when she first 
came smiling across my path. Mr. Pennybacker, 
tall, blond, with charming smile, was the princi- 
pal. I remember all the teachers and the older 
girls in his classes were devoted to him. It 
soon became evident, however, that his greatest 
interest centered about the little lady who ruled 
over the fourth grade, Miss Anna Hardwicke. 
This tiny maiden was of an independent nature, 
but she had the rosiest cheeks, the most fascinat- 
ing dimplels, the merriest eyes, the sweetest 
whimsical smile, and the most understanding 
ways. She had a coaxing, humorous way that 
gained the love and co-operation of her pupils, 
but with it there were also great personal dig- 
nity, and inflexible determination that won their 
respect and obtained their obedience. 

"My young brother, who was in her class, was 
often kept in after school hours. When mother 
asked him about it, he frankly replied that he 
liked being kept in because he loved to watch 
Miss Anna's dimples. My mother laughingly 



50 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

repeated this to her ; and, afterward the punish- 
ment for talking in school was changed to copy- 
ing poetry at home, whereupon the talking 
ceased. Nor was the admiration confined to her 
own room, for the rest of us felt the force of her 
fine, warm, sunny personality, and envied those 
immediately under her care. 

"She was a social favorite in the little circle 
of Bryan. I think the literary club, of which 
my parents were both members, was still flourish- 
ing at that time; anyhow, I have memories of 
readings by her. She was fond of elocution, and 
made quite a feature of the Friday afternoon 
speeches by her pupils. I remember hearing her 
called a fine conversationalist ; for I immediately 
resolved to become one also. Looking back I 
can see she must, even then, have been the sym- 
pathetic listener she now is, bringing out also 
the best from her companions. 

"She was ambitious and 'filled with that divine 
energy that makes of each to-day a starting 
point for to-morrow's achievement.' " 

Miss Hardwicke Was in love with her 
work of the third and fourth grades in 
Bryan; and "it soon became evident" 
that the superintendent was in love 
with the teacher of the third and fourth 
grades— for they became engaged in 
December. The next year she taught 



THE EDUCATOR 51 

the fourth and fifth grades. Mr. Penny- 
backer was very anxious for their 
marriage, but Miss Hardwicke said: 
"No, we haven't enough education 
yet." One day, more in a spirit of jest 
than of serious planning, Mr. Penny- 
backer said: "I have decided to go to 
the University of Berlin." Instead of 
the alarm that he expected, his fiancee 
was undoubtedly overjoyed at the 
thought. "Bravo!" she exclaimed. 
"How splendid!" The die was cast, 
there was but one thing for him to do 
—so in June he crossed to Germany, 
there to remain for two years of study. 

During his absence, Miss Hardwicke 
taught in Carthage, Missouri. Inspired 
by the interesting letters from Ger- 
many, now arriving two or three times 
a week, she began the study of German 
under a highly educated professor, 
giving him English lessons in return 
for those in German. This was among 
the happiest years of her teaching. She 
was the first really good teacher the 
mentally hungry children had ever 
known, and they loved her with the love 



52 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

that masters. Some of them, coming 
from very poor families, depended on 
her not only for instruction in the sub- 
jects of the curriculum but also for 
teaching in manners and morals. 

Much careful thought was expended 
on the Friday afternoon programs. 
This little incident indicates just how 
needy the children were. One of the 
girls said to her, after a Friday after- 
noon talk on " Manners," "Has it 
always been considered wrong to put 
your knife in your mouth?" To-day, 
this same girl is a supervisor in the 
primary schools of one of the largest 
cities of the United States. 

It was in Carthage that Miss Hard- 
wicke joined her first club— the Chau- 
tauqua Literary and Scientific Circle. 
The following year, she taught in the 
Baptist Female College, Lexington, 
Missouri — still pursuing, with another 
teacher of unusual scholarship, her 
study of German, her letters in that 
language being a marvel to Mr. Penny- 
backer. Returning in June, he was 
elected superintendent of schools in 



THE EDUCATOR 53 

Tyler, and he immediately telegraphed 
Miss Hardwicke, offering her the posi- 
tion of principal of the high school. 
After replying affirmatively to the tele- 
gram, she rushed up to Canada for a 
summer course in Expression, returning 
to Tyler in the early fall. They were 
married in October, and she began nine 
very happy years of work with her hus- 
band in Tyler. The following story 
from one of Mrs. Pennybacker's pupils 
there furnishes a vivid story of her 
signal accomplishments as a teacher: 

"It is delightful to have a chance to talk about 
Mrs. Pennybacker as a teacher. The relation 
between her and the boys and girls of Tyler was 
so intimate that there is no dealing in generality 
when talking about it ; somehow our personalities 
got a bit identified, an identity that we have not 
been able to get rid of in the process of years. 

"The coming of the Pennybackers to Tyler 
marked an epoch that the 'Big Hair population 
were immediately aware of, and the town popu- 
lation realized later. For the town population 
were more or less shocked when they learned 
that a young superintendent had been chosen 
for the public school, then not more than four 
years old, and a young woman as principal. 



54 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

There was especially prolonged discussion over 
the latter indiscretion of the Board. Our 
elders shook their heads over it, and we of the 
'Big HalF planned greater times than had ever 
been known there. And the 'Big HalF had 
witnessed some very great times, indeed, as we of 
the sixth grade, who had been just promoted 
to a permanent seat there, gathered from the 
stories that were told. 

"Now the 'Big Hall' needs some explanation. 
Before the citizens of Tyler, inclined as they 
were to aristocracy and conservatism, had grudg- 
ingly voted in the public school system as a 
municipal responsibility — perhaps it would be 
better to say community responsibility — the 
East Texas Military Academy was the pride of 
that section of the state. It occupied a three- 
story brick building, with a tower. The entire 
second floor of the building was the auditorium. 
Sometime nearly coincident with the public 
school election, the Academy closed its doors; 
and it was there that the public school was 
opened. That auditorium became the 'Big Hall' 
to us of the public school, and all the grades 
above the fifth were gathered there — and there 
were enacted such scenes as only Will Town- 
send or Clyde Yarborough would dare stage in 
a school-room. It was over this 'Big Hall/ with 
its long recitation benches in the front and its 
three class-rooms roughly partitioned off in the 
rear, that the principal was supposed to pre- 



THE EDUCATOR 55 

side. The foolhardiness of the Board in placing 
a young woman there, is at once apparent. 

"I remember every detail of that first morn- 
ing, except why the principal was not there to 
call the 'Big Hair to order. Anyhow, we had 
our glimpse of Mr. Pennybacker first; and be- 
tween curiosity and instinctive recognition of 
his force of character, we were very silent. 
When Miss Hardwicke — little Miss Hardwicke — 
tripped in, nodded, and smiled at us, put her 
hat in the desk, and shut the lid with a click of 
decision, and remarked that she was glad every- 
body was ready for work (ready for work, in 
the 'Big Hall'!) our astonishment was acute. 
The shuffling of feet and dropping of pencils, 
usually characteristic of the 'Big Hall,' were 
omitted. Only Jim McBride giggled and Emmet 
Clay coughed. At that, the sixth grade, which 
boasted both Jim and Emmet, came in for a 
share of Miss Hardwicke's attention, the atten- 
tion that later became a matter of pride. Then, 
we only knew that a quiet, concentrated look 
of inquiry was turned upon us and lingered 
there indefinitely. The look, too, was a surprise. 
We had never seen a look exactly like that — 
nor have we since. We always thought of it in 
capitals. 

"The day proceeded according to the schedule 
on the board ; the first day of school and every- 
thing to the minute! — another matter of sur- 
prise. Also, neither Will nor Clyde, sitting in 



56 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

the classes above our sixth grade, did anything 
heroic. Then there was another thing that 
happened to mark this beginning of a new 
epoch in school life. The sixth grade was sud- 
denly asked to stand up and take 'our places 
along the wall. We knew not why; but we 
went; and we did not punch — that was also a 
surprise. But it paled into insignificance beside 
what followed: Miss Hardwicke turned the 
smile upon us this time and remarked that she 
would tell us a story. I gasp even yet when 
I remember the astonishment I felt, and the 
thrill over the daring of it. A story in school! 
That was only thirty years ago ; but nobody in 
the sixth grade, or the seventh, or the eighth, 
had ever heard of a story in school. The story 
was, 'Napoleon Defending the Convention/ To 
this day, I do not know why Miss Hardwicke 
should have chosen that story, but it was a 
story indeed; and it was history — history, the 
abhorred by our elders in the 'Big Hall.' From 
that moment, my awe of the judgment of those 
elders departed, and I stepped into the outer 
edge of freedom of thought. For here was his- 
tory! How could I know that the teacher, who 
told the story, was a genius at story-telling ; we 
had never heard a teacher tell a story before. 

"With such surprises, there is little wonder 
that the sixth grade ever afterward divided their 
school life into two parts: before the Penny- 
backers and afterwards. The seventh and eighth 



THE EDUCATOR 57 

may have been going through the same expe- 
rience; at any rate, Will and Clyde enacted no 
memorable stunts. Yes, there is one I remember 
about Will. He was very much of a young man 
then, seventeen perhaps, an audacious rascal of 
a fellow — fond of the girls, who were fonder of 
him. Miss Hardwicke was not much older than 
these girls. One day she was explaining per- 
centage to the seventh grade, and turning sud- 
denly, asked Will a question about the steps she 
had just taken. Will hesitated; he had already 
learned that inattention stood with tardiness in 
the catalogue of sins. Suddenly he looked at 
her with his best smile and blurted out: '1 de- 
clare, Miss Hardwicke, I didn't hear a word you 
said for looking at your hand. It's the prettiest 
hand I ever laid eyes on/ Silence fell. She 
looked at him. Afterwards, Will said the 
look lasted for hours. I may stop here to say 
that the look and the polite 'Go back to your 
seat' was the only mode of punishment the 'Big 
Hall' was henceforth to know. 

"Another daring thing this surprising teacher 
succeeded in doing — she improved the personal 
appearance of the 'Big Hall.' It is even said 
that she introduced most of us (that was thirty 
years ago) to tooth brushes. At any rate, if the 
tooth brush and the nail brush, and the hair 
brush, and the shoe brush had not been used 
effectively before we reached school, we were 
sent back home to accomplish it before we were 



58 MES. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

permitted to return. And nobody ever failed to 
return — not even Ab. DeShang, who declared 
that there was one thing he would do if he were 
ever sent home, he would never come back. But 
how could even Ab. miss the composition lesson 
when another Hercules story was to be told for 
reproduction? It was that same spirit that 
reduced absence to a minimum and relegated 
tardiness to the epoch before. 

"But it was not only the power of controlling 
the crowd and of stimulating interest that con- 
stituted Miss Hardwicke's wonderful influence 
upon the 'Big HalF; there was her grasp of a 
situation, her tact, her genuine interest in each 
of us as an individual, and her sympathetic ap- 
peal to that which was strongest and best. It 
was the year of the bitter Cleveland-Blaine 
presidential campaign. There were only a 
few Republicans in Tyler then, and to most of 
the school children they were a monstrous re- 
proach to the nation. My father was one of the 
few Republicans. I knew no more than the rest 
of the sixth grade what a Republican was; I 
only knew I would defend him with my last 
breath. It was bad enough at all times, but the 
day after I had knocked Claude Wiley down 
with my satchel full of books as we were going 
home from school, because he poked his tongue 
out and called my father an 'old Radical/ was 
a very black day, indeed. 

"But that day a series of story lessons were 



THE EDUCATOR 59 

begun in the 'Big HalP on the political history 
of the United States, incidentally enlarging upon 
the lack of difference between Eepublicans and 
Democrats. That ended it. If Miss Hardwicko 
said a Republican was worthy of respect, re- 
spected he should be, so far as the sixth grade 
was concerned. But more than that, she be- 
stowed upon me the special favor of a request 
to remain after school to help clear the board for 
the next day. And as we worked, she found 
out many things, and I went home walking on 
air and ready to turn the world over if Miss 
Hardwicke thought I could. I do not forget any- 
thing about that day. It was thus that she 
reached the individual always. 

"It was not long after school opened before we 
heard that our Mr. Pennybacker and our Miss 
Hardwicke were to be married early in the fall. 
There was no gossip about it. It was our wed- 
ding. When it was known that all the attend- 
ants were to be taken from the 'Big Hall ? we 
accepted it as a matter of course. It was so 
much our wedding that very likely Miss Hard- 
wicke had some little difficulty in arranging the 
details. We were all there, of course, in a 
reserved section of the Methodist Church; and 
the next Monday morning we took up our mar- 
ried life with the same matter-of-fact spirit, the 
same content that now everything was as it 
should be. For Mr. Pennybacker was as much 
a hero to us as was Miss Hardwicke, and well 



60 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

he should have been, for he was an unusual 
man. 

"The sixth grade went with the Pennybackers 
through the high school, some of us doubling up 
to merge with the highest class. There were 
eight who went on together to graduation as the 
first class of the Tyler High School; and those 
eight could write endlessly of the order, the 
thoroughness, and the solidarity of that school 
for the years that followed; of the personal 
interest that spurred us on and opened up possi- 
bilities to us ; of the assistance which the Penny- 
backers gave even in a financial way to help us 
go on to college or to do further work. But this 
is enough to show why the coming of the Penny- 
backers was the beginning of a new epoch for 
Tyler." 

It was in this thoroughgoing co- 
operation between teacher and pupil 
that Miss Hardwicke found her great- 
est support. Together they worked, to- 
gether they played, together they 
beautified the school-room and campus, 
together they kept the order of the 
room. Children are very alert in de- 
tecting insincerity; but in Miss Hard- 
wicke 's dealings with them, they recog- 
nized the unmistakable ring of honesty. 



THE EDUCATOR 61 

They knew that she understood; that 
she believed in them, believed that 
" their hearts were full of love, full of 
the desire to do something for the bet- 
terment of others. That it was only that 
youth is so gay, so full of the present 
moment, so prone to throw off responsi- 
bility that these serious thoughts did 
not come to them voluntarily.' ' 

They were aware, moreover, that to 
her teaching was a sacred mission, one 
worthy of the utmost preparation, and 
that, accordingly, she continued her 
private study— always through her col- 
lateral work, replenishing the source of 
daily supply for them; they felt that 
having taught every grade in the public 
school, her methods of organization 
came from a rich experience and de- 
served their respect. In an address de- 
livered by her many years ago before 
the State Teachers' Association, we 
find, in her own words, her ideals of 
the teaching profession: 

" There is no class of people who can 
exercise greater power in establishing 
right ideals than the teachers of our 



62 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

country. Not even at the mother's knee 
does the boy learn the lesson of true pa- 
triotism, the lesson of true citizenship 
more thoroughly than he learns it in 
the model school-room (which is in it- 
self a true republic), from the lips of 
the man or woman who is a consecrated 
instructor. But the teacher that makes 
such an impression is the one who 
honors and dignifies his profession ; not 
the one who uses it as a stepping-stone 
to some more lucrative place or as a 
waiting station for matrimony, but one 
who feels how solemn is his responsi- 
bility, and one who fits himself by pro- 
fessional training for the discharge of 
every duty. He is the man who pos- 
sesses that indefinable, intangible some- 
thing that we call character, that power 
which leaps from the spirit, comes into 
living touch with those who surround 
us, enters into the warp and woof of the 
lives of those entrusted to our care. The 
most solemn part of the teacher's re- 
sponsibility is that our children judge 
us not by our words, but by our deeds. 
They may listen with assumed patience 



THE EDUCATOR 63 

to our homilies on good morals and good 
manners, on civic ideals, but they are 
not influenced by these. No, it is the 
daily life, the way we bear ourselves 
and our relation to them and to each 
other that really influences them. . . . 
You realize keenly how much the en- 
vironment has to do with character 
building; you realize that your highest 
duty is not simply to teach the children 
of Texas reading, writing and arith- 
metic ; but to make them good citizens, 
to make the girls model housekeepers, 
wives and mothers, to make the boys 
broad, high-minded, honorable men." 

If this power of translating idea into 
action, culture into citizenship, be the 
criterion of a good teacher, a directory 
of the pupils of Mrs. Pennybacker— 
listing their qualifications by the suc- 
cessful lives of varied service that they 
are leading— would disclose, in bold 
terms, the truly great character of her 
work as an educator. 



V 

THE WIFE AND MOTHER 



It is a pleasure to add my word to the general 
appreciation of my friend, Mrs. Pennybacker. 
I regard her as one of the finest examples of 
womanhood I have ever known; intellectually 
keen, possessed of glorious common sense, tact, 
and savoir faire, and, best of all, so richly en- 
dowed in qualities of heart and soul as to have 
the widest human sympathy and the most toler- 
ant understanding of life. It is upon such women 
as she that the best future fortunes of this coun- 
try rest and can have hopeful confidence. 

— Richard Burton 

(Department of Literature, University of 
Minnesota) . 



THE WIFE AND MOTHER 

"Love is a present for a Mighty King." 
— Herbert. 

MR. and Mrs. Pennybacker to an 
unusual degree were united 
in the fundamental concerns 
of life. They were of the same re- 
ligious faith ; both zealous for the cause 
of education; both efficient in the 
problems of school organization; both 
untiring students; both filled with an 
absorbing love for the individual ; both 
interested in the general betterment of 
community life. They were congenial 
spirits. They worked together, played 
together, thought together. Their as- 
sociation was, therefore, not a matter 
of bargains or demands— " each giving 
little and demanding little in return, or 

67 



68 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

demanding everything and giving little 
in return"— but rather a mutual self- 
giving "to the level of every day's most 
quiet need." 

It is small wonder, therefore, that 
they attained distinction in the field of 
their chosen profession. But those who 
have trod the "Appian Way" of edu- 
cation, surrounded by libraries, labora- 
tories, gymnasiums and playgrounds, 
can form no conception of the diffi- 
culties before educators who must them- 
selves blaze the trail or be lost forever 
in the darkness of the jungle. The in- 
genuity of the inventor, the courage of 
the explorer, the faith of the pilgrim, 
the love of the Good Samaritan, are 
qualities of mind and soul that had to 
be expended in bringing harmony and 
efficiency out of the chaos of the early 
schools. The well-organized and effi- 
cient schools of Tyler to-day are evi- 
dence of the success of Mr. and Mrs. 
Pennybacker in this difficult field of 
pioneer education. 

Yet, though the schools became a 
Mecca for earnest teachers from all 



THE WIFE AND MOTHER 69 

parts of the state, the Pennybackers 
found time for other activities. They 
conducted a Teachers' Bureau; they 
taught in the first Summer Normal in 
Texas ; they were prominent in the be- 
ginning of the State Teachers' As- 
sociation ; they were active in the social 
life of their own community; and they 
organized their first club. Mrs. Penny- 
backer, besides the home-making, wrote 
her Texas History, > and life was en- 
riched by the coming of two children— 
her oldest son, Bonner, and a little 
daughter, who died in infancy. The 
summers were spent in travel. In 
1894, Mr. Pennybacker took his wife to 
Europe, going with her to places that 
were endeared to them both through the 
associations of his two years of study 
there. 

The years in Palestine, where the 
Pennybackers went in 1895, were a 
repetition of the useful and busy nine 
years in Tyler— merely a substitution 
of new scenes and new faces for the 
familiar ones left behind. Mr. Penny- 
backer was again called on to organize 



70 MES. PEECY V. PENNYBACKEE 

and develop a public school system. 
Mrs. Pennybacker, however, did no 
teaching ; she gave much of her time to 
the first revision of the History, to 
social activities and club work, and it 
was here, too, that Percy, Jr. and Ruth 
were born. 

While in Palestine a dark cloud 
crossed the Pennybacker threshold. 
Ill health came creeping on the strong 
head of the home ; and though fighting 
bravely against it, death came on May 
15, 1899. Although it was no sudden 
shock, it brought great grief and deep 
distress to his devoted family and 
friends. 

No name is more fundamentally 
interwoven with the progress of edu- 
cation in the state of Texas, and in the 
great Southwest than that of Percy V. 
Pennybacker. An evidence of his quali- 
fication for the teaching profession is 
the fact that he was sought out from his 
home in the country, near Paris, Texas, 
when a youth of only eighteen years of 
age, and given a position in the National 
School of the Cherokee Indians at 




Mr. Percy V. Pennybacker. 



THE WIFE AND MOTHER 71 

Tahlequah, then Indian Territory. 
When the towns of Bryan, Tyler and 
Palestine directed their attention to the 
establishment of public schools, it was 
from Mr. Pennybacker that they suc- 
cessively sought guidance. At this 
time there was no public school system 
for the state, and it was necessary for 
him to develop his own system. The 
state of Texas to-day is indebted to him 
for many useful methods; he gained 
reputation, for instance, as a pioneer in 
graded school work. Dr. W. S. Sutton, 
Dean of the Education Department of 
the University of Texas, in an address 
before the alumni of the Sam Houston 
Normal, on the occasion of their Me- 
morial Program to Superintendent 
Pennybacker, revealed the cause of his 
success : 

"Young as he then was (as a teacher in the 
Indian School) he had brains and insight 
enough to appreciate the fact that the problems 
of education, involving, as they do, the deepest 
questions of human experience, are worthy of 
the consecrated efforts of the most gifted men. 
And his common sense, a kind of instinctive 



72 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

judgment, led him inevitably to the conclusion 
that special training is necessary to the highest 
success in teaching. It is, therefore, a matter 
of no surprise that in 1880 he was a member 
of the first graduating class of the first Normal 
School established in Texas." 

Mr. Pennybacker was the first Euro- 
pean-trained man in the public school 
system of Texas. President Harry 
Estill of the Sam Houston Normal, a 
classmate of Mr. Pennybacker, gives 
the following estimate of his contri- 
bution to the educational history of his 
state : 

"Among the thirty-one students comprising 
the first senior class of the Sam Houston Nor- 
mal, Percy V. Pennybacker in personal appear- 
ance was perhaps the most striking figure. A 
young man of splendid physique, tall, graceful, 
and well-proportioned, with clear complexion, 
blue eyes, and handsome features. . . . As a 
student, he was characterized by careful and 
accurate statement, clear thinking and thorough 
work. Possessing a keen sense of humor, he 
enjoyed a good story and was always a welcome 
companion. Gentle, courteous, and considerate 
of others, he was yet a man of positive convic- 
tion and of dauntless courage. 



THE WIFE AND MOTHER 73 

"Pennybacker possessed rare ability as a 
school administrator. . . . He possessed, to a 
large degree, the confidence and affection of the 
teachers of Texas, as evidenced by his election 
to the Presidency of the State Teachers' Asso- 
ciation." 

Dr. Sutton says of Mr. Pennyback- 
er's contribution to the educational 
development of the state of Texas: 

"He was one of the successful pioneers in 
graded school work in Texas. . . . His sojourn 
in foreign lands did not disqualify him for 
further useful service in America, for upon his 
return he clearly disclosed the fact that his 
European experiences had been of positive ad- 
vantage, adding to his scholastic, professional 
and social worth. . . . 

"He was an almost ideal superintendent. His 
justice and sympathetic helpfulness in dealing 
with teachers under his supervision; his unsel- 
fish love of children; his passion, like that of 
Froebel, to promote good in the world by de- 
veloping good in the child; his rational and 
effective work in allaying the prejudices of 
parents and guardians and in arousing and 
strengthening public sentiment in behalf of 
education; his dignity and wisdom in co-oper- 
ating with members of school boards and in 
inducing them to co-operate with him — all these 



74 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

characteristics (stamped him unmistakably as 
an advanced representative of his profession/' 

Earer than his talents as an educator 
were his gifts of manhood. His 
colleague and room-mate during his 
European study, Colonel J. M. Patton, 
of Virginia Military Institute says : 

"Percy V. Pennybacker was one of those rare 
men who combine an attractive personality with 
unusual mental gifts, and with ease, without 
effort, or conscious purpose, impress upon their 
fellow-men their lofty character with unfailing 
force, by that very simplicity and naturalness 
that is born of sincere aim and integrity of 
thought and action. 

"He saw good in everyone and everything, 
and yet was scathing in denunciation of unprin- 
cipled thoughts or acts. He was constantly, 
however, actuated by a spirit of tolerance, 
charitable, kindhearted, whole-souled. ... If 
'infinite capacity for taking pains' be genius, 
this man had it in a high degree. 

"He was, in the largest sense, intellectual, 
broad of view, constructive in force. Yet, noth- 
ing of a stern nature possessed him. He was 
jovial and full of fun, enjoyed a good joke or 
a comical situation with side-splitting laughter. 
Friends were easily made and, 'their adoption 



THE WIPE AND MOTHER 75 

tried, he grappled them to his soul with hoops 
of steel/ " 

In September, 1900, the widowed 
mother, with her three small children, 
moved to Austin, Texas, where she 
might give her children greater ad- 
vantages of education and where she 
might manage her private business 
more conveniently. These were days 
when the mother-heart grew with ever- 
widening capacity. From their in- 
fancy, Mrs. Pennybacker made com- 
panions of her children. There was no 
labored training noticeable in the home ; 
the little ones grew up naturally. Arti- 
ficiality and self-conscious effort were 
unknown evils; the children developed 
and blossomed as the flowers in the sun- 
shine of intelligent sociability, in the 
free air of broad interests. Their 
mother-comrade aroused no fear or 
restraint, but rather invited confidence 
and ease. A girlhood friend gives us 
this little picture of the Pennybacker 
home: 

"After many years of separation, when I 



76 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

went to visit Anna Hardwicke Pennybacker, I 
found that her home was run with admirable 
system; that the son, who was the more timid 
of the two, was doing the honors of the house; 
that the little daughter's clothes were not only 
dainty and pretty, but reflected a certain indi- 
viduality, and that Anna's home and Anna's 
children presented a beautiful climax to the 
strong, high purpose that has inspired her life 
from the beginning." 

And so it has been throughout the 
years— for the three small children are 
grown to manhood and youth ; Bonner, 
at the date of this writing, is a business 
man in Los Angeles, California ; Percy 
is a senior in the Engineering Depart- 
ment of the University of Texas, and 
Ruth is a sophomore at Vassar. 

The secret of Mrs. Pennybacker 's 
power with youth is, no doubt, the fact 
that she has never allowed her own 
heart to settle and cool, or mold and 
harden. Ever warm, ever plastic, it 
knows no barriers of years or race, but 
throbs full and strong in response alike 
to youth or age. The energy and en- 
thusiasm of youth have always appealed 
strongly to her, for she " summons from 



THE WIFE AND MOTHER 77 

the past the spirit of her own youth, 
and listening to its voice, gains full 
understanding of the problems, the 
desires, the ambition of the boys and 
girls, of her sons and daughters." She 
recognizes "the necessity of mother and 
daughter working together in one com- 
mon cause," which means that "every 
step the daughter takes will be to- 
wards the mother and not away from 
her— meaning more community interest 
and more solidarity in the home," the 
center of the wider horizon of com- 
munity interests. 

As for the sons, her ideals are ex- 
pressed in one of her addresses : 

"We should be broken-hearted if our 
sons could not say, 'I'd swear by my 
mother's religion, and she'd die for it;' 
but we crave that they may also affirm, 
'Mother's ideas about public questions 
are sane; she reasons, she knows, as 
well as feels, and I'd put her argument 
against anyone's.' When this time 
comes we shall find no trouble in con- 
verting our lads to our own civic 
ideals." 



78 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

It is significant that Mrs. Penny- 
backer has given the United States a 
practical method for developing the 
civic ideals of its sons. Her conception 
of the appropriate use of the July 4th 
holiday has been adopted in many 
states. Her description of the pageant 
that may be staged in any community 
of our country on that day is given here 
because of the vital relation that this 
question of loyal citizenship bears not 
only to the problems of our national, 
but also to the problems of our home, 
life: 

"I am no prophet, no seer of visions, 
yet in my day-dreams there has come a 
picture of what some day, God grant, 
may happen on July 4th in this beauti- 
ful city that marks such a happy blend- 
ing of commercial and intellectual life, 
and in every community in our country. 
At an early hour, while the freshness of 
the summer morn is still felt, the town 
is all astir making ready for a glad- 
some holiday. The school buildings 
are opened, the children come by hun- 
dreds, laden with flowers. At the sound 



THE WIFE AND MOTHER 79 

of martial music a great procession is 
formed ; there are boys and girls, young 
maidens dressed in white and crowned 
with garlands, gracious matrons, the 
poor mother about whose skirt many 
little children cling, the man of affairs, 
and the man who toils with his hands. 
The procession sweeps on till the temple 
of justice is reached. At a signal the 
ranks open. 

i ' Who are these stalwart youths, broad 
of shoulder, clear of eye, that march 
down the open center ? Are they guests 
of honor? Aye, indeed, they are the 
city's guests of honor ; but they are even 
more. They are her most precious pos- 
sessions, her sureties for the future. 
These are the young men who during 
the past twelve months have passed 
their twenty-first birthday, and at the 
next election will cast their first bal- 
lots ; and this day is set aside to honor 
them, to celebrate their donning the 
toga. As they pass the children strew 
their path with flowers, the maidens 
cast their garlands at their feet, each 
mother with a smile on the lip but a 



80 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

tear in the eye, murmurs, 'God bless 
you, my boy.' The men of low and 
high degree side by side stand with un- 
covered heads. Into the house of justice 
sweeps the great multitude and the 
young citizens are escorted to seats of 
honor marked by our country's colors, 
and guarded by our country's flag. 

"Then rises a great orator, the best 
that love and money can obtain, for 
nothing is too good for this day and 
for these guests. As he speaks, not of 
military honors and martial glory but 
of the great civic heroes of our land, 
as he illustrates from the pages of 
history the results that come from an 
unselfish devotion to home, state and 
country, as he holds up the high ideals 
of true American citizenship, watch 
their flashing eyes and inspired faces. 
Ah, dear friends, they will respond to 
every noble thought, for who are these 
youths but our little boys grown tall? 
As at our knees in the years gone by 
they listened eagerly to the tales of 
heroes, the tears and smiles coming 
quickly, so now they feel just as deeply 



THE WIFE AND MOTHER 81 

and are just as easily touched, though 
custom bids them conceal emotion. 
When the speaker is silent, amid a 
solemn hush, the magistrate of the city, 
county or state reads aloud the names 
of the new citizens and administers to 
them the civic oath. 

" Think you such a day would not be 
an inspiration to the whole community ? 
If we genuinely placed such importance, 
such honor, upon the entrance into 
civic life, it would not be long before 
we should see the result. It would be 
no idle dream to believe that the day 
would come when the young man on 
the eve of casting his first vote would 
feel as did the squire of old on the eve 
of knighthood; and if he spends that 
night in fasting and prayer, so much 
the better. When he holds in his hand 
for the first time that bit of white paper, 
the badge of his citizenship, he may 
well say: 'This is my sword, and I 
shall blush to cast it for an unworthy 
cause or an ignoble purpose, even as 
Sir Galahad would have scorned to 
draw his matchless blade in a dishonor- 
able quarrel.' 



82 MRS, PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

" When this halcyon day comes, a new 
era will dawn. The Muse of History 
will call for a golden pen and she will 
write above all other names on the roll 
of Fame, not the North, nor the South, 
nor the East, nor the West, but one 
word that means all of these, the name 
we love so well— ' America.' " 

In such an age as this, when an in- 
sistent cry has gone forth over our 
country for a safeguarding of the 
American home— an institution that in 
some localities appears tottering with 
decay— it is an evidence of destiny that 
a woman should be chosen as a national 
and world leader of women who signally 
exemplifies the lowly grace of home- 
making. 



VI 

THE AUTHOR 



Mrs. Pennybacker has rendered a distinct ser- 
vice to Texans and made a valuable contribution 
to the historical records of Texas, through her 
delightful History, which has been used in the 
schools of her native state and throughout the 
country. She is a public-spirited citizen and a 
woman of fine qualities of mind. Her work is 
nation-wide in its scope and it has left its im- 
press on the educational and patriotic develop- 
ment of our country. 

— Albert Burleson 
(Postmaster-General) . 



VI 

THE AUTHOR 

"None but an author knows an author's care." 

— Cowper. 

WE are at too close range for 
a complete estimate of the 
literary contribution of Mrs. 
Pennybacker to the world's library, but 
that she embodies the essential qual- 
ities of permanency, or life, in her 
written work there can be no doubt. 
Her work has been no studied, ago- 
nizing effort. She has written because 
the spirit compelled. 

Her initial impressions she entitled 
Life in the South and mailed the 
manuscript to a Leavenworth (Kansas) 
newspaper that published it in en- 
tirety. Even as a young girl she 
seemed to inherit her father's taste for 

85 



86 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

writing. He possessed a forceful and 
distinguished style; and as night by 
night they sat in his study together, 
there was opportunity for the daughter 
to receive much from her father. Even 
after entering the strenuous profession 
of teaching, she found time to write 
frequently for educational journals, as 
she never allowed the drudgery of 
teaching to crowd out the pleasures 
of education. The fact that she re- 
ceived only books in return in no way 
dampened her ardor; but had she felt 
a mercenary motive, books would have 
been considered a desirable basis of ex- 
change—for the buying of books at 
that time meant real personal sacrifice. 
Her place as an author, however, 
dates from the publication of her Texas 
History. How often have we heard of 
that indefinable operating force called 
" Texas spirit." Men from sections as 
rich in historic tradition as is this proud 
state marvel at the magnetic patriotism 
of Texans. Texans themselves are at 
a loss to analyze the psychology of this 
phenomenon— real though they know it 



THE AUTHOR 87 

to be. It is not that Texas feels her- 
self superior in commerce, education, or 
religion to other states of the democ- 
racy. She is "big enough to be sane, 
honorable enough to be truthful, proud 
enough to be modest. ' ' May we not find 
the key to this mystery in the pages of 
the Texas History?— in the vivid pic- 
tures there given of the heroism of La 
Salle, Austin, Houston, Travis, Bowie, 
Crockett, Milam, and Deaf Smith ("the 
first to fight for the land until it was 
safe for others to follow and share it") 
—of life in the Missions; of travel 
along that famous old trail, The King's 
Highway; of the horrors of Indian 
massacres; of the valorous deeds of 
Goliad, the Alamo, and San Jacinto ; of 
the statesmanship of the Republic ; and 
of the general development of the re- 
sources of the modern state? This 
record of the history of a state that 
boasts six flags of successive allegiance, 
has been twenty-five years studied in 
the schools of Texas, read widely in its 
homes, and distributed, also, over a 
great part of the country, awakening 



88 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

elsewhere general interest in its au- 
thor's beloved state. 

The many letters and personal ex- 
pressions regarding her History that 
have reached Mrs. Pennybacker prove 
that she has re-interpreted for Texas 
the inspiring truths of her past and the 
stimulating accomplishments of her 
present, in terms presenting an ir- 
resistible appeal to the loyalty of her 
citizens. The historian can ask no 
greater recompense than the conscious- 
ness that he has impressed upon his 
people a deeper, more energizing patri- 
otism, especially among the young. 
That Mrs. Pennybacker 's Texas His- 
tory has accomplished this patriotic 
service there is no question. 

There can be no surer evidence of her 
fitness for the work than the occasion of 
her undertaking it. During the days 
when her husband and herself were 
serving so valiantly the schools of Tyler, 
and those of the entire state as well, 
—through their advice and suggestion 
to teachers from all parts of the state,-— 
during these days, a teacher visiting 



THE AUTHOE 89 

the school sat in Mrs. Pennybacker 's 
history classes. Her original and elec- 
tric manner of presenting this subject 
captivated him. At the dinner table he 
turned toward her, and in tones almost 
commanding, announced: " There is a 
distinct task for you. As I sat hearing 
you teach history this morning, I was 
impressed with the conviction that it is 
your duty to write a Texas History.' ' 
That night, when alone with his wife, 
Mr. Pennybacker, ever sensitive to 
needs and opportunities, expressed 
hearty approval of the idea. The suc- 
cess of the History is due as much, per- 
haps, to his constant faith in his wife's 
ability as to her faithful and ex- 
haustive research, her simple and vivid 
style. She was not well much of the 
time, and had to drive herself to 
portions of the task. Mr. Pennybacker, 
however, saved her whenever within 
his power to do so, and undertook com- 
plete charge of the details of publi- 
cation, carrying this responsibility until 
his death. 
After two years spent in indefati- 



90 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

gable labor on the book, she felt, in a 
small way at least, as Gibbons de- 
scribes his feeling when, straining for 
the goal, after rapidly finishing the 
fifth and sixth volumes, he wrote the 
last words of his history: 

"I will not dissemble the first emotion of joy 
on recovery of my freedom, and, perhaps, the 
establishment of my fame. But my pride was 
soon humbled, and a sober melancholy was 
spread over my mind by the idea that I had 
taken an everlasting leave of an old and agree- 
able companion, and that whatsoever might be 
the future date of my History, the life of the 
historian must be short and precarious." 

No mean part of the literary activity 
of Mrs. Pennybacker is presented in 
her letters. And so brimfull are they 
of the human interest of their writer 
that she is not aware that they possess 
literary merit, although they typify the 
great heart of sympathy throbbing 
through the daily concerns of common 
living. From club articles published 
each month in the Ladies 9 Home 
Journal, and in approximately two 



THE AUTHOR 91 

hundred newspapers over the country, 
we quote scattered excerpts: 

"If only our nervous, time-pressed 
women could realize the value of soli- 
tude!" 

"How often ignorance of one another 
creates misunderstanding. Some one 
has well said that when we really know 
a person, we can neither misjudge nor 
dislike him." 

"It is not alone that all these things 
save energy, but they are the small, ex- 
quisite courtesies of life that go so far 
toward making happiness. No woman 
intends to be thoughtless, but yet there 
are times when our hearts ache for the 
absence of the right courtesy at the 
right time." 

"I am growing rather troubled about 
our social attitude. When an after- 
noon affair is given, of course, as a rule, 
men are not expected, but I confess it 
gives me rather a shock to see evening 
entertainments in both North and South 
with no men invited. Some women say, 
'It's no use to invite our husbands; 
they don't want to come and only do 



92 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

it to please us.' If this be true, I think 
it behooves us to find some form of 
pleasure that will interest the husbands 
as well as the wives." 

" While we are talking of our social 
duties, have you noticed how much more 
entertaining is being done outside the 
home? I regret this; for it seems we 
are losing something in refinement, in 
the proper background, in that exqui- 
site personal hospitality, when we make 
a habit of asking our guests to a hotel 
or to a club, rather than to our own 
homes." 

"What a tragedy to think of a girl 
having spent four years at college and 
going out with no more resources, with 
no more sense of duty to others, to her 
town, to her state, than to make em- 
broidery her major occupation. It is 
time that the institutions of learning 
which have not placed their students in 
touch with the vital movements of the 
day should awaken to the necessity of 
so doing." 

"A girl has no right to complain that 
there is nothing at home for her; it is 



THE AUTHOR 93 

her duty to put something into the com- 
munity. She has been given four or 
five years of opportunity, and God holds 
her responsible for the use she makes 
of her advantages. Perhaps her special 
mission is to go back to her own town, 
joyously taking something of the new 
life and the new thought. Since she 
has received much she must give much, 
or else be a parasite.' 9 

These examples are sufficient evi- 
dence that Mrs. Pennybacker wastes no 
time on generalities; her work is con- 
structive. Her method is, first, a dis- 
closure of specific needs; second, sug- 
gested plans to meet those needs ; third, 
an appeal for workers. She never 
leaves the circle incomplete. Her 
method established, her style develops 
a naturalness and spontaneity that en- 
able her to go straight to the point, 
and radiates at the same time that 
" judgment which inspires confidence 
and the knowledge which compels re- 
spectful attention." Though richly il- 
luminated by figures and allusions, her 
sentences and paragraphs veritably 



94 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

blaze with the fire of a sacred mission— 
and this in the final analysis is the 
secret of her power. 



VII 
THE TEAVELER 



Mrs. Pennybacker is a rare woman — enthu- 
siastic, untiring, eloquent, executive. She pos- 
sesses all the qualities which make a great leader 
of a great organization. 

— Carrie Chapman Catt 

(President International Woman's Suffrage 
Association). 



VII 

THE TRAVELER 

"Not an Athenian, nor a Greek, but a citizen of 
the world." — Socrates. 

MRS. PENNYBACKER loved 
travel, and " always knew she 
was going to Europe"— 
vague as the prospect seemed in the 
family of a minister with a brood of 
eight children. How little she then real- 
ized to what extent her dreams would 
materialize by the time she reached 
the zenith of her womanhood ! The fre- 
quent change of residence that comes 
with the life of a minister's family may 
have developed this taste for new faces, 
new scenes, and new experiences. 

The summer in Canada just before 
her marriage was her first real trip. 

97 



98 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

For nine months she had saved and 
planned for it. On the way home, she 
made very brief stops in New York, 
Philadelphia, and Washington— for 
sight-seeing so far as time permitted. 
Ever conscious of the need of replenish- 
ing the fires of knowledge, Mr. and Mrs. 
Pennybacker spent their summers in 
travel. In 1894 a trip to Europe with 
her husband realized the childhood 
dream. To go to Europe for the first 
time, passing over the same streets, 
visiting the same museums and parks, 
universities and pensions, listening to 
the same operas, living with the same 
people, in company with her husband, 
whose letters, as her student fiance, had 
created an atmosphere of tender asso- 
ciations which still brooded over the 
half -familiar places, was a rich experi- 
ence. 

After her husband's death, Mrs. 
Pennybacker pursued the same policy 
of summer travel for her small family. 
They went often to Chautauqua, New 
York, and to the Boulder Chautauqua 
in Colorado, to the Massachusetts coast, 



THE TRAVELER 99 

and to other resorts suitable for the re- 
freshment of the whole man— body, 
mind, and soul— never permitting any 
one phase of life to receive undue em- 
phasis. In the summer of 1900, she had 
charge of woman's work at the Boulder 
Chautauqua. Her success was widely 
proclaimed in that section, as she dem- 
onstrated then her unique capacity for 
leadership in the woman's movement, a 
movement at this time coming into ever 
increasing notice. This year marked 
also the beginning of her prominence 
in club work, as she became President 
of the Texas Federation of Women's 
Clubs— a position whose outgrowth has 
taken her not only to every town and 
city of any importance in her own state, 
but also to the larger communities of 
every state in the Union as well. Dur- 
ing her first two years of office as Pres- 
ident of the General Federation, she 
traveled thirty thousand miles. 

The rapid passage of the weeks, 
months and years impressed her keenly 
with the fleeting period of opportunity 
for the larger and broader development 



100 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

of her children. She, therefore, deter- 
mined to give Percy and Ruth (for 
Bonner was now almost a man, with 
tastes turning to business affairs) a 
year of study in Europe, planning long 
in advance the details of the scheme. In 
May, 1909, they left their Texas home 
for eighteen months' residence abroad. 
The plan included stops in Washington, 
Philadelphia, and New York, that 
Percy and Ruth might have a back- 
ground of some of the best elements 
composing the civilization of their own 
country before attempting appreciation 
of the life of a foreign nation. Percy, 
at the outset, was much opposed to the 
trip, pleading to the very last day to 
be left behind. Once on board the 
steamship "Slavonia," however, he re- 
signedly undertook to divert his mind 
from his sad plight to the best advan- 
tage possible, by spending most of the 
time poring over a mail-order cata- 
logue, and preparing a list of the para- 
phernalia of boats and camping equip- 
ment desirable for an exploration of 
the rivers of Texas, a task to which he 



THE TRAVELER 101 

looked forward on his return home. 
But 

"What fate imposes, men must needs abide ; 
It boots not to resist both wind and tide." 

and young Percy, within the week, was 
called upon to face an emergency that 
would have staggered more weathered 
explorers than he. On June 9th, the 
"Slavonia" crashed into a rock just off 
the Azores, in the blackness of midnight. 
As the forlorn group of passengers 
stood on deck, in the cold rain, the weird 
light of early dawn making more awful 
the sighing tones of the wind, ' ' courage 
mounted with occasion." The heroism 
of the children and of all the passengers 
aboard is vividly described in Mrs. 
Pennybacker's own account of the 
wreck. 

In a letter written to her mother the 
day before the disaster she said : 

"We land in Gibraltar Monday, and 
I plan to mail this there. If nothing 
more is added, you may know that each 
day was a pleasant repetition of the one 
before." 



102 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

The following letter was written six 
days later : 

" Steamer * Princess Irene,' Atlantic 
Ocean, Monday, June 14, 1909. 

"Up to last Wednesday night we had 
had the smoothest of voyages, and a 
most restful trip on the 'Slavonia.' 
Soon after we retired, the fog horn 
began to blow. This kept me from sleep- 
ing soundly, and at fifteen minutes to 
three I was startled by a terrific crash. 
The engine seemed to stop instantly, 
and in another second I heard the rush 
of many feet. Then I heard, ' All hands 
on deck ! ' I said nothing to the children 
until there came in a few moments more 
the terror-laden command, 'All passen- 
gers on deck!' Then I awoke Percy 
and stepped across the hall to speak to 
Frances and Euth. I bade them to dress 
hurriedly; ask no questions; obey all 
orders ; pray inwardly, but make no out- 
ward sign of fear. It makes me weep 
now to think how heroic they were, and 
how uncomplainingly they bore every 
hardship of that cruel day. 



THE TRAVELER 103 

"In a few moments we were on deck, 
where all was confusion. No one knew 
anything, save that our vessel had re- 
ceived her death blow. Water was al- 
ready several feet deep in her hold. The 
rain was pouring torrents, and in the 
early dawn we could see to starboard the 
most cruel mass of rocks of the Azores. 
These were within a few feet of the 
'Slavonia,' but offered no landing place, 
as they were too steep and slippery for 
any but the natives to climb. Here, with 
life preservers bound on us, we waited, 
not knowing what order might come. 
The lifeboats were launched and two 
scout boats were sent out to find a land- 
ing place. The wireless was at work, 
but failed to get into communication 
with any vessel till noon. 

"To see more than a hundred people, 
most of them women and children, face 
this situation with no screams, no tears, 
no hysterics, made one feel proud of his 
race. The self-control was wonderful. 
After an hour our cabin steward, who 
had been most attentive to us during the 
voyage, said: 'There is no immediate 



104 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

danger. If I were you I'd pack every- 
thing in the cabin.' With his aid, 
Frances and I packed two steamer 
trunks, four suit cases and two bags. 
During all this time the steamer was 
grinding on the rocks with a noise that 
we can never forget. By seven o'clock 
breakfast was served, of coffee, ham and 
eggs. An Episcopal minister gave a 
service of thanksgiving; we repeated 
the Lord's Prayer and sang the dox- 
ology, then gave three cheers for the 
captain and crew. Reaction set in 
among the young people after breakfast, 
and the deck was full of jest and laugh- 
ter. But there was no mirth for those 
of us who had precious young lives in 
our care, and who knew that, sooner or 
later, the vessel was doomed. 

" There were six other passengers 
from Texas, and you would have been 
proud of the bearing of each. Mrs. 

G , though ill, was calm and serene. 

Dr. R and his beautiful wife from 

Marshall were full of help and comfort 
to all. Dear F , though only eigh- 
teen, was a tower of strength and effi- 



THE TRAVELER 105 

ciency, while Percy and Ruth made 
light of every disaster, and pretended 
that they were having what they wanted. 
The rain stopped and the sun came 
out at 10 :30 o 'clock. The command was 
given, ' Passengers will go ashore in 
twenty minutes.' In lifeboats manned 
partly by Portuguese natives who had 
come to our aid, we went forth on the 
great sea, skirting giant boulders, pass- 
ing between what might well have been 
called Scylla and Charybdis. Our boat 
was so heavily laden and so slenderly 
manned that we had to hoist sail to keep 
from being swept to sea. The peril of 
this hour and a half was hard to bear, 
but still there was ;no word of com- 
plaint, not even from Mrs. A , who 

is seventy-nine years old. Finally we 
were landed on the island of Flores, the 
most western of the Azores, at a little 
town called Largens. The simple Por- 
tuguese natives received us with prayer 
and embraces. 

" Imagine an island all made up of 
mountainous cliffs, waterfalls and green 
slopes, girt by the azure sea, filled with 



106 MES. PERCY V. PENNYBACKEE 

peasants dressed in their feast-day 
robes, ready to do anything for us, and 
you will have some idea of what greeted 
us. They had heard of our distress and 
had held services in their church to pray 
for our deliverance. 

" Weary and worn, with our pos- 
sessions piled on the rocks about us 
(Percy's sole priceless possession was 
the cumbersome catalogue) we sat, 
wondering what was to come next. 
Tidings soon arrived that two ships had 
been reached by wireless and would 
come to our assistance that night or the 
next morning. The villagers opened 

their homes to us. Mrs. G and I 

found a retreat for our party in a home 
of three rooms. The people were desper- 
ately poor, as, indeed, they all are, 
but they gave us all they had. The eve- 
ning meal consisted of potatoes, greens 
and corn bread. The family sat up that 
we might sleep; but our young people 
insisted on organizing themselves into 
watch parties to listen for the bugle." 

(Regardless of all this excitement, 
the beauty of the scene made an in- 



THE TRAVELER 107 

delible impression on Mrs. Pennybacker 
—the peculiar combination of the sea, 
reflecting far out into the darkness the 
red light of the shore bonfires, the in- 
cessant play of the powerful search- 
light of the approaching ship, and the 
gloom of the unfriendly cliffs.) 

u At one A. M.," continues the letter, 
"we embarked once more in the small 
boats and were taken out to the ' Prin- 
cess Irene' of the North German Lloyd 
line, bound for Naples and Genoa. My 
little Ruth was the first passenger to go 
up the gangway, and I shall never forget 
how she looked as we, from the boat be- 
low, watched her smilingly climb up the 
side of that great ocean liner, amid the 
cheers of the passengers, who had 
waited up to receive us and were kind- 
ness itself." (The passengers first 
caught sight of Ruth's two beautiful 
braids of blond hair, her good-looking 
ulster, and the seven umbrellas she 
carried— and declared that they were 
prepared to greet the whole company of 
" Pinafore.") 

"Although the ' Princess Irene' was 



108 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

already full, they made room for us. I 

am forever indebted to Miss B of 

San Francisco, who was an angel of 
mercy in the illness which came upon 
me when all danger was over. My 
young people had not closed their eyes 
in twenty-four hours. So it is not to 
be wondered at that they slept till five 
o'clock the next afternoon. 

" While we have lost nearly every- 
thing that we had, yet we have only 
prayers of thanksgiving to our Father 
above that we escaped. Had the acci- 
dent come a day sooner, the natives told 
us, it would have been impossible to 
save us, as the sea was high and the 
fog dense. 

"My tenderest love to every one who 
inquires for us. I never loved my 
friends, my state, my country more." 

After traveling for three months, 
they were settled by the first of Septem- 
ber in comfortable quarters for a 
year in Munich. The children were 
promptly established in German schools, 
while Mrs. Pennybacker began seri- 
ous work on the German language. 



THE TRAVELER 109 

reading German literature and German 
drama, including also the study of 
music and art from an interpretative 
viewpoint. A member of the party- 
writes : 

"Munich is a beautiful city with its great, 
old-fashioned streets and buildings right in the 
midst of most beautiful modern ones, and it 
wasn't long before we were completely under its 
spell. Mrs. Pennybacker loved it dearly. 

"We settled down in a nice pension within 
close distance to the main business district, and 
very near the two art galleries, the Neue and 
Alte Pinakothek. Ruth and Percy were put in 
school near us, and Mrs. Pennybacker began 
her study of German. She had a German les- 
son every day, and as she had studied the lan- 
guage before, she soon spoke it very well. She 
was especially interested in the work of women, 
and in all phases of education; and, as always, 
in human nature as found in the people them- 
selves. You may be sure she learned from all 
she met something of their real life and their 
traditions and customs. From our German 
teacher, a young Baron, her doctor, a noted 
specialist in Munich, my music-teacher, and the 
heads of the school Percy and Ruth attended, 
we made some friends among the Germans, and 
were invited to attend some truly German 
dances, teas, and other functions, which were 



110 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

most interesting. One of our greatest pleasures, 
of course, was the opera, and we went very often. 
We also went to German plays a great deal — 
both the classic ones — as 'William Tell' — and 
those by modern authors as well. We had many 
pleasures that made up our days; walks in the 
Englischer Garten, and along the banks of the 
Tsar, visits to the wonderful art galleries, ex- 
cursions to neighborhood towns and villages — 
where we saw true German peasant life, — after- 
noon teas in cunning little tea rooms, and a 
most wonderful two or three days in Parten 
Kirchen, at the height of the Winter Sports 
season. 

"Although physically not well a great deal of 
the time, Mrs. Pennybacker went everywhere 
with us, and her interest and enthusiasm never 
waned. She went to Oberammergau for one of 
the first performances of the Tassion Play' and 
stopped at the house of one of the performers. 
The wonderful scenery, the quaint village, and 
the people, with their deep and abiding interest 
in their play, which has become a part of their 
daily lives, all in a measure prepare one for the 
marvelous performance, [with which] Mrs. Pen- 
nybacker was deeply impressed.'' 

The following letter by Mrs. Penny- 
backer, dated Munich, Germany, Octo- 
ber 10, 1909, gives a delightfully in- 
timate view of their life in Munich: 



THE TRAVELER 111 

"It is such a comfort to be settled 
once more after four months of con- 
tinual i moving on' that I want to have 
the pleasure of telling you something 
of our home life. 

" Frances' piano, the little orna- 
ments we have picked up on our travels, 
a few flowers, and the couch and pillow 

covers Mrs. G and F have 

made, are our only touches of individ- 
uality; how we miss our family pic- 
tures, the books and pretty things from 
home that went down in our trunks, no 
one knows. 

"I have been impressed by the uni- 
versal excellence of bread in Europe; 
no one bakes at home, for the bought 
bread is light, sweet and wholesome. 
I do wish we could institute a bread 
reform in some parts of our country. 

"In the pension there are Germans, 
Austrians, French, English and Ameri- 
cans, so one may take his choice of 
tongues. 

" Percy's school is twenty minutes' 
walk from here, but I go to his principal 
for a German lesson five times a week. 



112 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

Both children take German and Latin 
in classes by themselves, as there are 
no other pupils whose needs are simi- 
lar to theirs. Percy has arithmetic, 
algebra, geometry, history and geogra- 
phy with the German boys. It is 
amazing how rapidly he is learning. I 
do not wonder that he is happy in the 

school, for Frau S is a real mother 

to the boys, and all the other students 
are especially kind to my boy, who 
happens this year to be the only Ameri- 
can. The lads go twice a week to a 
great pool for baths and swimming, 
every day to a gymnasium, and spend 
two hours on the playground. Percy's 
skill in baseball has been a drawing 
card. 

" Ruth's school opens Monday; so far 
she has had German lessons every day, 
but has spent the afternoons with me. 
She has grieved much over having no 
pennants, kodak-pictures, sofa pillows, 
dresser ornaments, etc., for her room, 
and thinks the mermaids might send 
back the treasures she packed with such 
loving care. She is to have as a room- 



THE TEAVELER 113 

mate a German maiden of twelve, who 
knows no English. 

u We are a unit in admiring the kind- 
ness and courtesy of the German people. 
In our struggles to speak, they are ever 
helpful and never laugh at our mis- 
takes. 

' ' Last Sunday we went to the Ameri- 
can Church and were so charmed with 
the rector, that we shall attend regu- 
larly; the service never sounded more 
beautiful and the prayer for those at 
sea had a significance I never felt be- 
fore. Beginning with October, the 
church gives teas every Saturday; we 
are told these teas have become quite 
a social feature of the whole English- 
speaking colony. 

"Munich is so beautiful that every 
walk brings new pleasures. At every 
turn one sees obelisks, arcades, gates, 
arches, palaces, galleries, that delight 
the eye. * Beauty is its own excuse for 
being.' 

"We reached here in the midst of a 
great Brahms and Wagner Fest. It 
gives even an unmusical soul positive 



114 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

thrills to see how these people listen en- 
thralled from four to ten. Every seat 
in the great opera house was sold ten 
days ahead. 

" Yesterday we had our first visit to 
a Munich art gallery, and in spite of 
the fact that we had vowed we could 
not stand another, we greatly enjoyed 
the International exhibition of modern 
art. I was sorry to find no American 
exhibitors, but felt somewhat cheered 
when I read in the Paris edition of 
the New York Herald that Berlin was 
to have an exhibition devoted entirely 
to American painters. We are plan- 
ning to go sight-seeing twice each week 
while the weather is still fine. Many 
of the art galleries are not heated in 
winter, so we must literally 'do gal- 
leries' while the sun shines. 

"A few days since, we had a pleasant 
experience. Kaiser Wilhelm came to 
Miinchen to present to the city an art 
gallery that had been given him by a 
Bavarian millionaire. Through the 
courtesy of the Herr Direktor of 
Percy's school, we were invited to see 



THE TRAVELER 115 

the spectacle from the windows of the 
drawing-room of a Baron's palace. 
When we were ushered in, the Baron, 
the Baroness, and a young daughter 
greeted us most cordially— the women 
speaking English. In a few moments 
there appeared another guest, a Ger- 
man, who had lived seventeen years in 
Texas! We had the best of views of 
the Emperor (who looked rather de- 
pressed, by the way) , the Prince Regent 
of this Kingdom, Bavaria (eighty-seven 
years old, but looking not more than 
seventy) , and other notables. We were 
then taken into the dining-room, where 
a typical German mid-morning break- 
fast was served; the hour was nine- 
fifteen. Of course we could eat noth- 
ing, as we had breakfast just be- 
fore coming, but we did thoroughly en- 
joy the glimpse of home life and the 
charm of genuine hospitality. The only 
son, a lad of eighteen, is in Percy's 
school ; and when the Baroness told me 
he had said many nice things about my 
boy, my captivity was complete." 
The following letter gives the ob- 



116 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

servations of Mrs. Pennybaeker re- 
garding the many interesting features 
of the German educational system: 

" Since education brought me here, 
let me talk to you a little of the schools. 
The children of Germany are certainly 
hard-worked little creatures, so far as 
my observation goes. School begins at 
eight; it is yet dark when our land- 
lady's son, aged ten, starts for his 
academy. Everything is mapped out 
with the utmost system, and, as Ruth 
says, you may not be taught very com- 
fortably nor very beautifully, but you 
certainly are taught very thoroughly. 

"She is /kept busy in study or in 
play every moment from seven in 
the morning until bedtime — eight. I 
fancy, from what Ruth says, that the 
fare is wholesome but rather plain; 
however, the little girl certainly looks 
the picture of health. At first she was 
quite distressed at the simple dresses 
and black alpaca aprons that were re- 
quired; now, however, she seems to 
have forgotten all about these discom- 
forts. 



THE TEAVELER 117 

"She has received many invitations 
in Munich and in the country. Three 
weeks ago, she came back from a 
visit with the wonderful tale of her lit- 
the hostess' suite of apartments: a 
boudoir, dining-room, bedroom, and 
bath; also of stables in white and gold 
with seven white horses, each one of 
which had his name on a gilded plate 
before his stall. From this, you may 
judge that all Germany does not lead 
the c simple life.' 

"Some of the regulations in the 
schools here may amuse you. One of 
the girls had a cold and a sore throat; 
she was instantly put to bed, all the 
other pupils were compelled to gargle 
some mixture, and the fact was re- 
ported to the police. I have to pay the 
city a fee because Percy does not go to 
the public school. The regulations al- 
low the boys a bath only once a week; 
as a special dispensation, I got permis- 
sion for Percy to have two baths, but 
so many restrictions are thrown about 
this that it is really like drawing eye- 
teeth to accomplish it. I have to assure 



118 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

the Herr Direktor that I relieve him of 
all responsibility of the second bath! 
All day long the bedrooms are aired and 
the boys are not permitted to enter ex- 
cept at certain intervals, but at night 
every window is closed. 

"The boys in Germany are kept under 
strict discipline in primary and second- 
ary schools. He who passes satis- 
factorily his examinations from these 
schools need serve only one year in the 
army, and has the privilege of becoming 
an officer, but he who fails must serve 
two or three years as a common private 
soldier. Of course, this is a tremendous 
lever, and we probably would get better 
results from our American boys if they 
felt so much was at stake. "When the 
young men enter the university, how- 
ever, all is changed; perfect freedom 
prevails— what they so proudly call 
academic Freiheit, a fellow may do 
absolutely as he pleases. Often for the 
first year, he studies hardly at all, and 
the strange part of it is that the older 
men excuse this in them. My physician 
remarked, 'My son won't do any work 



THE TRAVELER 119 

this year. It is his first, you know, and 
the Dueling Corps will take a good deal 
of his time; but next year he will get 
to work.' No student is compelled to 
take an examination. When he gets 
ready to take the probe, if he fails, none 
of the university officials are worried. 
He keeps on coming as long as he likes 
and has at least three chances to take 
his examinations over. The Dueling 
Corps, with their brilliantly colored 
caps and scarfs, give a vivid bit of color 
to the streets, but I must say the sight 
of so many scars on the cheeks of these 
good-looking young fellows is to me 
most revolting. The [Eoman] Catholic 
Dueling Corps permits fencing only 
when the face, as well as the body, is 
protected. 

"I have made two visits to the uni- 
versity recently, and had the pleasure 
of hearing the famous B in his dis- 
cussion of capital and labor. He is 
a man of such strong personality that, 
in spite of a peculiar voice and certain 
mannerisms that strike the casual ob- 
server as amusing, he draws tremen- 



120 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

dous audiences. I also heard Pro- 
fessor M , who is at the head of 

the literature department. He spoke 
delightfully on Wagner, of whom he is 
a rapt admirer. He has the most rapid 
enunciation of any man I ever listened 
to. Consequently, at the close of the 
hour, I felt as if I had been doing a 
month's hard work, so great was the 
strain of listening. 

"Of the five thousand students, a 
small per cent are women, but those 
that I happened to see did not impress 
me as being of as representative a type 
as our American university girls. The 
interior of the university is imposing; 
no single hall seats as many as the audi- 
torium in our Texas University, yet 
they have many gathering places where 
from three to five hundred students may 
be accommodated. While the univer- 
sity is partly supported by the King- 
dom of Bavaria, yet fees are charged. 
A professor receives a fixed salary and, 
in addition, he is paid a percentage of 
his student fees; however, after this 
sum has reached a certain limit, the 



THE TRAVELER 121 

popular professor must divide with his 

less favored brother. B lectures in 

the largest hall that the university af- 
fords, and this is frequently filled to 
overflowing. One of the seniors told 
me that he earns probably twelve 
thousand dollars a year, but his popu- 
larity is good for the teacher of 
Sanscrit, as a percentage— small, to be 
sure— goes to those not so fortunate. 
The chancellor of the university serves 
only for one year. There are not more 
than seven Americans enrolled as stu- 
dents here, while there are, perhaps, 
fifty-five Greeks. The utmost liberty of 
speech prevails in the university; this 
sometimes gives rise to amusing compli- 
cations. I have been told that while 

Professor M never tires of extolling 

Wagner, yet one of his most able assist- 
ants is especially zealous in opposing 
every word of praise that can be spoken 
of the great musician; this is another 
proof of the German love of academic 
Freiheit. 

"Kefreshments are always to be had; 
beer, tea, coffee, sandwiches, sausages, 



122 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

etc., are sold in the university corridors, 
to the great convenience of the students. 

"The length of time required to be- 
come a physician, a lawyer, or a minis- 
ter is rather appalling. I have talked 
with at least thirty men, and have come 
to the conclusion that the rule here is 
that a professional man cannot hope to 
be self-supporting before he is twenty- 
eight or twenty-nine. The parents of 
many children certainly take upon 
themselves a great financial responsi- 
bility in Germany, since they must edu- 
cate and care for these children until 
they have reached what we in America 
consider a most mature age. We must 
admit, however, that when a man is 
prepared for his work here, he is genu- 
inely ready; but 1 am continually 
bothered by the question, ' Where is 
the chance for the poor boy, or poor 
girl?' The way for such is certainly 
much more difficult than in our 
country. 

"We have seen several of Shake- 
speare's plays in German, but I learn 
more German from the modern drama. 



THE TRAVELER 123 

A few nights since, we attended Der 
Artz am Sclieiderwege, by Bernard 
Shaw; this was a most artistic rep- 
resentation. I never expect to see 
anything better than the stage set- 
ting and the acting in Munich's best 
theaters. 

" Nothing touches me more than the 
love these people have for music ; every 
great concert, every opera, is crowded 
with rapt listeners ; standing places are 
eagerly taken by women as well as by 
men. Occasionally during the year, the 
best operas are given by the best per- 
formers at a very low price; people 
actually stand in line from six o'clock 
in the evening to eight o'clock next 
morning to obtain tickets; whole fam- 
ilies save for weeks beforehand to en- 
joy this musical feast. You know, 
Miinchen might have been the Bayreuth 
of Germany if the Miincheners had not 
driven Wagner from their city. Some 
fear that King Ludwig II never for- 
gave his people for their action. 

" These people have shown great taste 
in still keeping their new buildings in 



124 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

harmony with the old. In spite of the 
fact that Miinchen has nearly doubled 
its size within the last forty years, the 
architecture gives no hint of this. The 
Marienplatz is the purest medieval style 
and yet the wonderful Rathaus, that is 
the center of life there, has received 
two modern additions; one feels an 
underlying plan, a harmonious ideal 
ever kept in view, for public and private 
buildings, for parks, monuments and 
pleasure grounds. One does not wonder 
that Miinchen is a resort for artists; 
within modern times, it has become the 
center for the arts and crafts move- 
ment which, though it originated in the 
love of beauty, has given substantial 
returns." 

In the summer of 1911, Mrs. Penny- 
backer and Ruth again crossed to 
Europe; leaving Ruth in a private 
family near Paris, for language study, 
she herself spent a month in the French 
capital. The month in Paris brought 
her a liberty that she has seldom found 
possible in her busy life. A brief ex- 
cerpt from a letter written on this trip 



THE TRAVELER 125 

gives a hint of her pleasure in this rare 
experience : 

"When my cold allowed, I wandered 
about Paris entirely alone and did some 
of the things I have long wanted to do. 
Nearly every day I went lo the Louvre, 
always paying homage first to the Venus 
de Milo, the Winged Victory and the 
wonderful Salon Carre, where Mona 
Lisa dwells. In spite of daily contact, 
I never felt like taking liberties with 
either of these; they have that fine 
dignity that attracts and yet says, 'Only 
so far;' I saw the Salon of 1911 but 
was not much impressed. Notre Dame 
filled two mornings; the view from 
above made me long to read Victor 
Hugo over again. The Palais de 
Justice, Hotel de Ville and the Con- 
ciergerie were full of historic memories 
that I have always longed for time to 
brood over. Outdoors Paris was at its 
best the last week I was there; with 
an acquaintance I walked through parts 
of some of the most beautiful gardens — 
that is the best way for me to learn a 
foreign city. We lingered for two 



126 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

hours over the old book stalls on the 
Seine, and went twice to Pere la 
Chaise." 

The outbreak of the European War, 
August, 1914, found Mrs. Pennybacker 
in the British Isles. The serious con- 
tent of her thought at this time, particu- 
larly rich in sympathy, is felt in a 
letter dated August 24, 1914: 

"My heart was made heavy, on the 
way back from Ireland, last Saturday, 
by the consciousness that war was 
abroad in Europe. At every station, 
soldiers with drawn bayonets were to 
be seen; as Ruth and I boarded the 
vessel to cross the Channel, a guard 
asked, 'Are you British subjects?' 
When I replied, 'No, we are Americans,' 
we were allowed to pass, but later our 
names and addresses were taken, thus 
showing how watchful is the eye of the 
law upon all foreigners in this time of 
strife. Everywhere the parks are filled 
with recruits drilling, and on every 
hand there are stories of suffering and 
trouble that has overtaken travelers. 
In a great compound which we passed 



THE TRAVELER 127 

on the train the German Reservists, 
who happened to be in this country at 
the outbreak of the War, were im- 
prisoned. 

"It seems no nation has entered upon 
war in a more sorrowful spirit than has 
England ; not one person has expressed 
to me joy at the strife. Safe in our 
own land, dear friends, we cannot ap- 
preciate the horror that is devastating 
Europe to-day. At the breakfast table 
this morning, when my hostess read the 
headlines and we learned of the awful 
battle that had been raging for five days 
over a frontage of thirty miles, when 
we saw the list of the killed and 
wounded, my heart turned cold within 
me. I thought of the intercession 
services that have been held in churches 
of all denominations over Great Britain, 
of the solemn hush that had come when 
prayers were offered for the sailors and 
soldiers, of the throb of sympathy that 
moved all the audience when the names 
of the young men who had volunteered 
from that parish were read aloud and 
special prayers were asked for their 



128 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

safety. It is awful to think that on 
this day, when the peaceful beauty of 
rural England is past all description, 
the flower of her young manhood 
should, on foreign fields, be offered up 
as a bloody sacrifice. Let us daily pray 
that this blot upon the civilization of 
our age may be speedly eradicated. 
Letters have come asking if there be 
not something that we women of the 
United States can do to help end the 
war. At this time there seems ab- 
solutely nothing except that each of us 
use her personal influence for Peace, 
that as an organization we protest 
against war, and that we pray without 
ceasing for the war to end. 

" Through the generous kindness of 

Mr. and Mrs. L , Ruth and I have 

felt none of the hardships of the war; 
their pretty home and beautiful gardens 
have been an island of safety and cheer. 
Mr. L is a fine example of the Eng- 
lishman of affairs who always has time 
to do a kindness to those who need aid 
or comfort." 

Upon arriving in America, Mrs. 



THE TRAVELER 129 

Pennybacker was unable to cast off her 
personal grief over the horrors of the 
war; she wrote the following letter 
soon after her return from England: 

" Saturday night, I went to Toronto, 
arriving there about nine the next 
morning. Most of the day was given 
up to a conference and luncheon with 
Lord and Lady Aberdeen. That night, 
however, I had an experience that 
would interest you. I went with one 
of the Canadian ladies to a Recruiting 
Rally. A great theater was packed 
from pit to dome, not a single vacant 
seat. A picked Scotch band gave 
stirring war music, intermingled with 
old ballads that had as their themes 
homes in the various parts of the British 
Empire. 

" First came a resolution concerning 
the execution of the English nurse, 
Miss Cavell, by the Germans. I was 
glad that no one spoke bitterly. In- 
deed the one person who made the most 
profound impression on the audience 
was a sweet-faced woman who pleaded 
with the audience to remember that 



130 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKEB 

Miss Cavell's message really was love 
and not hate, that love was the supreme 
force in the world and would bring 
to pass movements that could never 
be accomplished in any other way. 
When she mentioned that Miss Cavell 
wore the little Union Jack just over 
her heart, a sob went through the 
audience. 

" A certain man sang an interrogative 
war song, and the answer to each 
question was ' John Bull,' and this was 
given by the audience with a will. I 
never heard more animation. All the 
speakers were full of tension, but, at 
the same time, full of reserve. I 
watched a row of seven young men; 
while only one of them applauded, I 
felt perfectly sure from their whole 
attitude that they were struggling with 
themselves to decide. 

"I came away with a heavy heart be- 
cause it took but a little strength of 
imagination to see hundreds of these 
brave young fellows, now so strong, so 
full of life and promise, lying dead on 
the battle field." 



THE TRAVELER 131 

As President of the General Feder- 
ation of Women's Clubs, Mrs. Penny- 
backer during the past two years, her 
second term of office, has again visited 
many states, and in the summer of 1915 
she enjoyed a trip to Alaska. A 
member of the party gives the following 
sketch : 

"Her ability to make long trips and, at times, 
trying journeys, without great fatigue, is due 
to her adaptability. She adapts herself to a sit- 
uation with a skill akin to genius. 

"When she travels, nothing seems to escape 
her quick, keen eye. . . . When she picks up 
a newspaper or a book, she extracts all the real 
news from it in a few moments, but it is not 
merely the large events and happenings that 
secure her attention or fix her mind. On the 
contrary, she draws from some stray item or 
from a notice of some minor current matter, evi- 
dence of principles, or tendencies, which would 
have escaped other eyes. 

"When she suddenly looks up from that book 
or paper and asks a question — which may, or 
may not have anything to do with what she has 
just been reading — woe be unto the man or 
woman who is not ready with a definite reply. 
If, on the other hand, you should answer her 
question by asking one — whether the topic is 



132 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

some member of her own family, the thoughts 
of which seem constantly to travel with her, or 
the 'education of girls/ or 'rural conditions in 
America,' or 'progress in civic betterment/ or 
'the club women of Alaska,' or 'the Pan-Ameri- 
can conference,' she will give you an instant 
vivid, clear, concise, logical answer. Sometimes 
she relates an anecdote to illustrate points, but 
no matter what the subject under discussion 
is, she will astonish you with the depth and 
wideness of her knowledge, the mastery of de- 
tails, and her large and luminous views. But 
she seldom talks to people to tell them what she 
thinks, but rather to find out what they think. 
She is a splendid listener. Furthermore, she 
believes with Emerson, 'Real power is in silent 
moments.' So a great deal of her time on her 
official trips is spent in quietly and silently 
working out many of the ideas and plans for the 
good of the Federation. 

"Since her last report at the Chicago Biennial, 
she has again visited practically every state in 
the Union. In addition, she has made one trip 
from Chicago to San Diego, California, from San 
Diego to Valdez, Alaska, and return, covering 
almost ten thousand miles in one journey, with 
the result that Alaska will, in all probability, 
join the Federation this year. If she carries out 
her present plans — which include a trip to 
Havana, the Isle of Pines, Porto Rico, Panama 
and South America, she will be the most widely- 



THE TRAVELER 133 

traveled President the General Federation of 
Women's Clubs has ever had." 

In this age, travel in foreign countries 
has lost that tinge of the unusual so 
alluring to humanity, and faded into 
the background of the commonplace. 
So the travels of Mrs. Pennybacker, 
wide and constant as they have been, 
would hardly attract attention in them- 
selves, but they are important because 
of their conspicuous influence on her 
life. The small boy's question, as he was 
being pulled from one country to an- 
other, "Why do people travel? ''—is 
alas ! too often unanswerable. There is 
a class of tourists whose supreme 
motive is to gain only a speaking ac- 
quaintanceship with the great centers 
of the world's civilization. They spend 
eighteen minutes in the Louvre and dis- 
cuss glibly their impressions of the 
Venus de Milo. There is another class 
whose supreme motive is to acquire the 
attitude of nonchalance in the realm of 
hotel and cabaret life. They ridicule 
spending time in stupid cathedrals and 
speak authoritatively on the question of 



134 MES. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

European society. A third class desire 
only to study in a foreign institution. 
They care for nothing save the cur- 
riculum of the great university, and to 
discuss with seeming erudition Euro- 
pean politics, science and religion. 

Still another, but a smaller class, has 
as its supreme motive to become so com- 
pletely identified with the life of the 
people that for the time, at least, they 
lose consciousness of their native citi- 
zenship. They emerge from this ex- 
perience world citizens, realizing that 
each nation has not only much to learn 
from us, but much to teach us in return. 
It is true that they are by no means as 
egotistical Americans as formerly, but 
they are certainly better patriots, filled 
with the new spirit of patriotism— an 
internationalism— a spirit that knows 
no limitations of race or country, but a 
spirit liberated to meet the world need 
in terms of the Brotherhood of Man. 



VIII 
THE CLTJB WOMAN 



It gives me very great pleasure to add my 
congratulations to those of many others on your 
most successful administration of a most difficult 
office, and to wish you every possible good in the 
future. 

— Jane Addams 
(Head of Hull House, Chicago). 



VIII 
THE CLUB WOMAN 

"It is not the places that grace men, 
But men the places." 

— Plutarch. 

THE significance of the Woman's 
Club comes to us with new 
emphasis when we learn the 
extent to which it has already affected 
the problems of our national life. In 
the Ladies' Home Journal for May, 
1914, Mrs. Pennybacker wrote : 

" Within ten years the Federation has 
become a vital force in our country. 
When the Pure Food bill seemed lost 
in Congress, the General Federation 
was appealed to, and, by concentrated 
efforts, by wire, letter, and spoken 
words, helped to secure its passage. 
When President Roosevelt desired a 
solution of the social problem in the 

137 



138 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

Panama Canal Zone, he summoned our 
Miss Helen Boswell. She went, she 
saw, she conquered. When the first 
convention of Governors was called in 
the White House, Mrs. Decker, then 
President, was the only woman invited. 
During one of the official visits of 
President Taft in the Canal Zone, the 
Government invited Mrs. Moore, our 
past President, to be its guest. She was 
received everywhere with the same 
honor that was accorded the President 
and his wife. When we did our part 
to secure the establishment of the 
Children's Bureau at Washington, our 
executive committee was consulted in 
regard to the woman who should be 
chosen to head the Bureau. When 
great educational or philanthropical as- 
sociations meet in this country, or over 
the sea, we are asked to send speakers 
and workers. When reform in any 
line is started we are asked to help. All 
this proves that with our million 
members, we are now a world power, 
with the burden and responsibilities 
this honor entails." 



THE CLUB WOMAN 139 

Mrs. Pennybacker has lived under 
the two regimes of the Woman's Club— 
the one, of ostracism and suspicion ; the 
other, of power and recognition. At the 
time she joined her first club in Car- 
thage, Missouri — the Chautauqua Liter- 
ary and Scientific Circle— and two years 
later, when she organized her first club 
in Tyler, Texas, the rightful sphere of 
the club woman was still challenged. 
There were only seven women in the en- 
tire village of Tyler who were cour- 
ageous enough to face this criticism. 
That the club lives to-day as one of the 
most useful in the state vindicates their 
cause. 

In Palestine, Mrs. Pennybacker 
found a little club sorely in need of re- 
organization, a task she undertook with 
interest; and she joined with them in 
the study of Draper's Intellectual 
Development of Modern Europe! In 
both Tyler and Palestine, she organized 
a City Federation. And it was from 
Palestine that she went to her first State 
Convention of the Texas Federation of 
Women's Clubs in San Antonio, where 



140 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

the Bishop prayed: "Lord, though we 
are in doubt about this movement, Thou 
canst bring good out of it!" 

In the move from Palestine to Austin, 
September, 1900, little time was lost in 
club activity ; for she immediately iden- 
tified herself with the American Histo- 
ry Club of Austin. In May of the fol- 
lowing year, she was elected, at her 
second convention in Dallas, President 
of the Texas Federation of Women's 
Clubs. 

Concentration of mind and forces has 
ever been a peculiar gift of Mrs. Penny- 
backer. Her husband used teasingly to 
say, that if she were called on to teach 
only a class in spelling, she would soon 
convince each pupil that spelling is the 
cause one must live and die for, and in- 
spire him to joyous devotion and un- 
tiring industry in behalf of spelling! 
The really great achievements of the 
Women's Clubs in Texas under her ad- 
ministration amply testify to her 
energy. The conviction that the great- 
est need of the club movement is a 
personal message to the rank and file of 



THE CLUB WOMAN 141 

the membership, led her to visit, gener- 
ally at her own expense, ninety per 
cent of the clubs of the state. To one 
who has traveled much over the state of 
Texas there can be no doubt that 
destinies are still being determined by 
the influence of those visits. She 
managed alone, also, the wide cor- 
respondence that her administration in- 
augurated; and though she paid out 
much for stenographic work, she wrote 
so constantly by hand that she became 
afflicted with the writer's cramp. 

Texas, a great rural state of vast 
distances, though rich in material 
promise, is forced often to give only a 
stone when the soul pleads for bread. 
How many mothers have been rallied 
again to their ideals for the training of 
their children— ideals growing dim 
through starvation; how many fathers 
have been made to realize the dignity 
and opportunities of womanhood when 
untrammeled by the chains of slaving 
drudgery ; how many youths have been 
called irresistibly to the cause of edu- 
cation—are questions that, though 



142 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

numerically indeterminate, reveal the 
deep significance of her inspiring 
service. 

Zealous always for the cause of edu- 
cation, Mrs. Pennybacker was eager, as 
she has since been for the General 
Federation, to ally the Woman's Club 
with the best educational interests of 
the state— realizing the desirability of 
co-operating with the existing forces. 
She rarely visited a community without 
allowing time for an address to the high 
school students. And it was not long 
before her state board had succeeded in 
raising $3,500 for a scholarship for 
young women in the University of 
Texas. During her administration, the 
Regents of the University of Texas 
were pleading for a dormitory for the 
women students; three times they had 
asked the legislature for the appropri- 
ation, and three times they had failed. 
The club women took up the fight, 
"interviewing" every single represent- 
ative, and carried the appropriation for 
the comfortable woman's building that 
now graces the campus. 



THE CLUB WOMAN 143 

Mrs. Pennybacker, however, did not 
expend all her energy on institutions; 
she looked beyond the exterior walls to 
the individual occupant within, and on 
the university campus she soon became 
known as the student's friend. Per- 
haps no incident better illustrates the 
extent to which she deserves this tender 
place of esteem than the writer's own 
personal experience: 

My mother, a Southern woman of 
the old school, was a member of a 
small club in a village community of 
less than fifteen hundred inhabitants, 
at the time Mrs. Pennybacker was 
President of the Federation. This club, 
as did many others over the state and 
nation, looked askance at all interests 
of the Federation relating to the activi- 
ties of the modern woman, and re- 
mained loyal and true to its cultural 
ideal— a study of the plays of Shake- 
speare — through nine long years. In 
due time a visit from the President of 
the Texas Federation of Women's 
Clubs was announced. It fell to my 
mother's lot to entertain her in the 



144 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

home. You know the end of the story 
without telling— how Mrs. Pennybacker 
entered such an atmosphere, winning 
my mother, who from girlhood evi- 
denced no mean literary ability, by her 
cultured conversation— winning my re- 
served and conservative father by her 
ability to discuss with him the business 
affairs so near his heart, and the 
questions of the day, in that innate 
femininity of approach that ever 
characterizes true womanhood ; winning 
us children in a thousand inexplicable 
ways; and winning, by turn, the club 
and school. 

Nothing can efface the impression 
that she made upon me, the very young- 
est of the children. A passionate lover 
of the out-of-doors, I had not responded, 
as my mother longed to have me do, to 
the claims of literature. Books were so 
very unreal, picturing remote scenes 
and interests through such a cold 
medium. But Mrs. Pennybacker repre- 
sented for me the incarnation of Liter- 
ature. Here, before my very eyes, was 
the author of the Texas History, a 



THE CLUB WOMAN 145 

book in our own school curriculum. 
Could it be true that all books revert 
back to a personality ! Books suddenly 
breathed the breath of life, and from 
that day claimed no small share of my 
time and enthusiasm. 

Upon reaching the University of 
Texas, one of my pleasantest dis- 
coveries was the active relationship be- 
tween the student body and Mrs. 
Pennybacker. One who has sat under 
her parliamentary drills, in the old 
"Ashbel Literary Society" room there, 
could never be guilty of the "I move 
you" habit! The claim is not an exag- 
geration that the University of Texas 
has graduated no more efficient body of 
women students, in the realm of parlia- 
mentary procedure and business dis- 
patch in the conducting of outside af- 
fairs, than those students who had fre- 
quent contact with Mrs. Pennybacker, 
before the nation claimed her. Her 
help in enterprises relating to art and 
literature, her many happy dinner 
parties for the students, her frequent 
"at homes"— -remain a vivid memory to 



146 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

many of the ex-students of the Uni- 
versity of Texas. Only recently I sat 
with her through a performance of one 
of the Texas University Dramatic 
Clubs. She could not be content until 
she had located each member of the 
cast to her own satisfaction, securing 
the desired information from any one 
seated near, with such genuine in- 
dividual interest in each that the play 
took on new meaning. 

The many achievements of Mrs. 
Pennybacker during her administration 
will serve as a challenge to the suc- 
ceeding leaders of Texas Women's 
Clubs. Yet, in addition to her club 
work, she made a real home for her 
three small children; for though her 
mother visited her for long periods 
during these years, she never burdened 
her with the details of the home, recog- 
nizing that her mother's time of house- 
hold responsibility should be over. She 
personally superintended the building 
of a new home; traveled with her 
children in the summer; managed 
her own private business affairs; and 



THE CLUB WOMAN 147 

entertained frequently and delight- 
fully. 

It was at this time, moreover, that 
she went to her first Biennial of the 
General Federation of Women's Clubs, 
in Los Angeles, California. The im- 
pression she made there, with the Texas 
delegation seated promptly for each 
session, voting together on all questions, 
remained in the minds of the delegates, 
and resulted in her election as treasurer 
at the Biennial in Saint Louis, two 
years later. Though the office was dis- 
tasteful to her— she has always vigor- 
ously disliked handling the money of 
others,— she faithfully performed its 
duties. Later she was made auditor. 
She insisted upon going off the board at 
the Boston Biennial, asserting that 
there were many women just as capable 
as she for the place, and that she could 
not be content selfishly to accept every- 
thing. One marked characteristic of 
Mrs. Pennybacker is her never-failing 
generosity to her comrades, for she is 
always willing to divide opportunities, 
always intent upon sharing honors, al- 



148 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

ways happy to pay tribute to efficient 
service. 

During the interval of her two Euro- 
pean trips she was not forgotten, how- 
ever, for the General Federation waited 
for her return, believing that she pos- 
sessed the gifts necessary for the chair- 
manship of the Committee on the pro- 
posed Endowment Fund, a fund to pro- 
vide the means for a broader develop- 
ment of the interests of the Federation. 
At the end of the summer of 1911, Mrs. 
Pennybacker began work in earnest on 
this great enterprise; and though she 
was elected President of the General 
Federation of Women's Clubs at the 
San Francisco Biennial in 1912, she 
continued to help in the Endowment 
work until announcement of the com- 
pletion of a fund of $100,000.00 was 
made, in 1914. 

In accepting the leadership of this 
national and world movement of women, 
Mrs. Pennybacker was not unconscious 
of the patriotic challenge confronting 
the modern woman. The new interpre- 
tation of patriotism— the sense of inter- 



THE CLUB WOMAN 149 

nationalism— evolving in her mind 
during her years of foreign travel, 
furnishes the key to her teaching. For 
the slogan of this new internationalism 
—the universal brotherhood of man— 
at once fixes the central point of em- 
phasis in service. And as the scales fall 
from her eyes, woman recognizes her 
task as simply making herself available 
as a sister in meeting the world-need 
of mankind. Before undertaking any 
definite program of work, therefore, 
Mrs. Pennybacker looked out carefully, 
earnestly, and sympathetically, over the 
passing pageant of mankind. By far 
the most picturesque group com- 
manding her attention was the newly 
arrived, eager immigrant, representing 
over one million souls annually. She 
was certain "that these people look to 
us for something more than the mere 
privilege of existing in our midst. They 
have come to a land which is not the 
land of the free as much as it formerly 
was. They are dictated to by the politi- 
cal boss, the capitalist boss, or the labor 
boss." 



150 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKEB 

The pale-faced, stoop-sliouldered, 
trudging mass immediately following 
the foreigner, she recognized at once as 
the great industrial group — two and a 
half millions of whom are women, and 
—would you believe it?— there are 
little children among them! She was 
certain that this mighty throng looks 
to us for sanitary living and working 
conditions; for an eight-hour working 
day ; for protection of the children ; for 
a living wage in this day of maximum 
prices. 

The next group she recognized as the 
great rural peoples of our country! 
She was certain that out from their 
isolation, monotonous routine and 
drudgery, these people look to us for 
an equal chance with their city 
neighbor for a strong body, an attrac- 
tive home, and for adequate schools 
and churches. The happy, rollicking, 
care-free children close the pageant. 
She was certain that the children 
look to us for guidance in the 
maze of their awakening experience. 
Thirty-five millions under eighteen 



THE CLUB WOMAN 151 

years of age— what an opportunity! 
Thirty-five millions! "We are not 
satisfied merely to maintain the civili- 
zation of the past," she thought, "we 
must get forward. Let us, therefore, 
translate into actuality the inalienable 
right of the child to be well born, well 
cared for, and well educated!" Did 
the needs of mankind ever before pre- 
sent such compelling urgency? 

Mrs. Pennybacker was immediately 
burdened with the question, "Are we 
women ready for work?" and she en- 
deavored to find the answer in the study 
of the history of the General Federa- 
tion of Women's Clubs, the instrument 
of service. She carefully weighed not 
only the accomplishment but also the 
lack of accomplishment of the General 
Federation, never satisfied until she 
had come face to face with the exact 
truth regarding conditions. With this 
knowledge of the need and of the avail- 
able equipment, she was in a position 
to inaugurate constructive work. She 
urged an economic adjustment of re- 
sources, striving to eliminate the exist- 



152 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

ence of the by-product. The exigency 
of the need demanded concentration of 
resource. 

Her very first plan, accordingly, en- 
tailed a program of what she called 
" Individual education "—an effort to 
make the General Federation a more 
vivid reality to the whole membership. 
There is never a plan without a method, 
with her ; and she recognized the advan- 
tage of the personal message, and set 
out on her mission of education. Next 
to the personal message, she believes in 
the written word ; and her monthly let- 
ters in The Ladies' Home Journal and 
the Federation Magazine, besides those 
of a more personal nature, have been 
an inspiration to many women of this 
country. In the problem of individual 
education, it is evident that a roster of 
the work of the eleven departments 
must be compiled under one cover, a 
task which has now been completed. It 
was apparent, also, that the press com- 
mittee must be more effective. So it 
was greatly enlarged, and now when the 
chairman sends out a bulletin, it is pub- 






THE CLUB WOMAN 153 

lished in about two hundred daily news- 
papers over the country. 

The success of this plan of individual 
education, enlisting also individual re- 
sponsibility and co-operation, is vividly 
pictured by a friend from Vermont who 
pleases to call Mrs. Pennybacker "The 
Alchemist": 

"The same problem which faces each state 
President, faces also the woman who accepts the 
leadership of the great General Federation. The 
state President must constantly seek to adjust 
the viewpoint of town and country, to subordi- 
nate partisan efforts to state progress. The Gen- 
eral President must ever strive to bring into 
closer relationship the forty-eight intensely in- 
dividual states of our beloved country, to ob- 
literate sectional desires and ambitions, to weld 
the multitudinous individual efforts into a truly 
patriotic whole, into a patriotic power. 

"At the Biennial in California, the General 
Federation chose as its leader a true daughter 
of the South. The new leader was little known 
— except as a name connected with the raising 
of the Endowment Fund. The defeated candi- 
date, a charming, lovable woman from a great 
Northern state, had many and loyal friends. 

"At the council meeting in Washington, a 
meeting which numerically exceeded all expecta- 



154 MES. PEECY V. PENNYBACKEE 

tions, Mrs. Pennybacker, the new President, 
faced over two thousand women, representing 
every state in the Union, and also personifying 
all sentiments in the wide range of feeling be- 
tween adoring admiration and cold criticism. 
That first council meeting may well be said to 
have tested with fire the metal of the new Presi- 
dent. Slowly, reluctantly, at times, the coldly 
critical began to feel that inexplicable magnetism 
which touches all who come into personal con- 
tact with Mrs. Pennybacker. The Vermont 
State President returned from the council meet- 
ing with mind filled with admiration for the 
executive ability and business-like power of the 
new presiding officer, and with the first faint 
glimmerings of the personal allegiance which 
grew, with ever-increasing power, during the 
following months. 

"But she waited with nervous apprehension 
the arrival of the General President at the Ver- 
mont Federation Annual Meeting. Would Mrs. 
Pennybacker be able to reach the real heart of 
the Vermont women and, more difficult still, 
would she be able to understand Vermont, to feel 
instinctively the genuineness, the strength, of 
an audience which is always self -restrained 1 

"Tidings of a great personal sorrow met Mrs. 
Pennybacker before she reached the meeting. 
As she entered the auditorium, her pale, sorrow- 
stricken features carried their own excuse for 
a cancellation of her part of the program. But 



THE CLUB WOMAN 155 

with a wonderful forgetfulness of self, with 
only the request that the topic might be changed 
from the subject of 'Home/ Mrs. Pennybacker 
spoke directly to the hearts of the waiting club 
women, and with her message stepped directly 
into those hearts. It may have been that her 
sorrow brought the interchange of a really 
genuine, a truly personal feeling of fellowship. 
However that may be, to-day in Vermont, it is 
Mrs. Pennybacker, the woman, mother, daughter, 
friend, who always may feel that many Vermont 
hearts have given into her keeping the 'open 
sesame/ In the Green Mountain State, the 
President of the General Federation was great 
enough to make us forget the office in the woman* 
and to bring to our souls a renewed vision of the 
glorifying power of service. 

"To one Vermont state President, Mrs. Pen- 
nybacker stands as a leader who, in the midst of 
her great office, could pause for a personal touch 
in a letter, could see the point of view of the 
individual state, could adapt that viewpoint to 
the whole, could call for the best and receive the 
best which a state is able to give. She be- 
longs not to the North, to the South, to the East, 
to the West — she belongs to the world. In the 
words of the Concord Sage, Mrs. Pennybacker 
has '& power in love to divine another's destiny 
better than the other can, and, by heroic en- 
couragements, hold him to his task/ " 



156 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

After a marshaling of her forces, 
Mrs. Pennybacker was ready for defi- 
nite accomplishments. There are three 
causes, among many, that have received 
constant emphasis: " Patriotism That 
Makes for Peace" is a program that in- 
cludes her July 4th pageant; "The 
School Manse" voices her effort to in- 
crease the efficiency of the country 
teacher by practical regard for the 
comfort of her home life— an effort 
which has won the appreciation of many 
of the women teachers of our rural com- 
munities. "The Service of Youth" she 
took as the theme for the "President's 
Night" at the Chicago Biennial. A 
friend from the state of Washington 
writes of this : 

"The word is 'service' : the message is this — 
'Open the doors of your understanding to the 
spirit of youth, let its radiance, its courage, its 
idealism, garland your enterprises/ permeating 
and revivifying the whole: in the home, in the 
school, in the church, in the state, in the nation, 
let young and old serve together.' 

"Through her four years of service Mrs. Pen- 
nybacker has brought the message to the women 




Ruth Pennybacker, A Sophomore in Vassar. 



THE CLUB WOMAN 157 

of America in many ways, but never more un* 
forgettably than in the symbolism of the closing 
scene of the Chicago Biennial. With the best 
and brightest of American young womanhood 
typified by the group of charming young women 
who surrounded her on the platform, she, for 
the motherhood of the land, entrusted to her 
fair daughter, Ruth, the precious casket bear- 
ing the talisman 'service.' This is life's great 
lesson. 'Thou shalt be served thyself by every 
sense of service which thou renderest/ " 

The growth of the General Federa- 
tion of Women's Clubs, during Mrs. 
Pennybacker's administration, serves as 
the measure of her success. In her ad- 
dress at the Chicago Biennial she tabu- 
lated the numerical growth of the first 
two years: 

"When you reflect that during this 
administration we have admitted six 
hundred and seventy clubs into direct 
membership ; that we have increased the 
individual membership of the whole 
Federation by many thousands, that 
South Carolina and Delaware, which 
have never before had clubs in direct 
membership, have now broken their 
records, thus leaving no state unrepre- 



158 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

sented by individual clubs, you will real- 
ize that we have every cause for encour- 
agement. When you reflect that the at- 
tendance at the Council Meeting in 
Washington was two thousand and 
twenty-four, whereas the greatest Coun- 
cil meeting ever before held numbered 
two hundred and fifty; when you look 
about you at this Biennial, you will real- 
ize that we have no cause to fear con- 
cerning numbers." 

Then she directed attention to the fact 
that true accomplishment goes farther 
than numbers; and placed emphasis, 
where emphasis belongs, on the inspi- 
rational message of the General Feder- 
ation. Indications suggest that this 
period of growth has been eclipsed by 
the one which closes with the New York 
Biennial in May, 1916. 

Mrs. Pennybacker, along with many 
other earnest workers, has paid in 
strength, time, thought, money, and per- 
sonal luxury for this growth. The wear 
of constant travel, with the correspond- 
ing duties and pleasures it entails— 
accepting invitations for luncheons, 



THE CLUB WOMAN 159 

garden parties, dinners, drives, week- 
ends, that crowd her days everywhere 
she goes; writing addresses and inspi- 
rational letters for the club magazine 
and The Ladies' Home Journal — often 
under great pressure of time and away 
from her papers and reference ma- 
terial ; keeping up, in transit, with the 
heavy correspondence ; finding time for 
the thought demanded for creative 
work; speaking almost daily, called 
upon often to harmonize the extreme of 
viewpoints (for instance, one day a let- 
ter came asking her to endorse the 
" preparedness" program, the same af- 
ternoon came a request for endorse- 
ment of " peace at any cost," and the 
following morning a plea for " reason- 
able preparedness")— in view of these 
things do you wonder that she has often 
laughingly said that the Federation 
needs three Presidents: "One to stay 
at home, to answer the enormous mail, 
to think, to plan, to study ; one to travel 
and accept the host of invitations to 
speak ; and a third, a social and eating 
President!" 



160 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

These are more or less technical ques- 
tions that confront any public leader. 
But the heart of the secret of Mrs. 
Pennybacker's success we find in the 
heart of the woman— truly "from the 
heart are the issues of life." Her en- 
thusiasm and vital interest ring with 
sincerity, suggesting no counterfeit. 
"What a tragedy"; "I regret this"; 
"I am growing rather troubled" ; "May 
I give you a few dont's"; "There 
are some suggestions for betterment 
that I would like to make"; "I want 
to be a bit personal in making a 
plea"; such expressions as these are 
frequently noticed in her "family 
letters." Her crude honesty in the 
recognition of shortcomings, and her 
frank acknowledgment of shortcom- 
ings, so impersonally and earnestly 
given, at once create an atmosphere of 
respect. 

Her industry— for no high place sug- 
gests empty honor to her— enables her 
to feel the pulse of the remote individ- 
ual club, as well as that of the more 
prominent Board Members. A super- 



THE CLUB WOMAN 161 

intendent of education tells this story 
of Alice Freeman Palmer: 

"Once after she had been speaking in my city, 
she asked me to stand beside her at a reception. 
As the Wellesley graduates came forward to 
greet her — there were about eighty of them — 
she said something to each which showed that 
she knew her. Some she called by their first 
names; others she asked about their work, their 
families, or whether they had succeeded in plans 
about which they had evidently consulted her. 
The looks of pleased surprise which flashed over 
the faces of those girls I cannot forget. They 
revealed to me something of Miss Freeman's 
rich and radiant life. For though she seemed 
unconscious of doing anything unusual, and for 
her I suppose it was usual, her own face re- 
flected the happiness of the girls and showed a 
serene joy in creating that happiness." 

This incident suggests similar experi- 
ences of Mrs. Pennybacker. But in ad- 
dition to her memory for people, she 
keeps in just as intimate touch with the 
concrete activity as with the person re- 
sponsible for that activity. Of this 
talent for details, one of the members of 
the Board of the General Federation 
writes : 



162 MES. PEECY V. PENNYBACKEE 

"The members of the Board of Directors, who 
see her behind the scenes, can testify to her 
extraordinary industry, systematic attention to 
details, and never-failing courtesy. I have 
sometimes wondered how she could possibly keep 
in mind all the varied activities of the eleven 
great departments of work of the General Feder- 
ation. Every item bearing on any phase of the 
work seems always ready to be brought forth 
from its pigeonhole at the proper time. Each 
member of the Board has certain specified duties 
to perform, and at times our work is decidedly 
onerous. It is amazing that Mrs. Pennybacker, 
with all her other cares, can also keep in mind 
what we are doing all the time, but her letters 
show that she keeps abreast of the special tasks 
of each of us, and her suggestions are timely and 
valuable. "Woe to the Board member or Depart- 
ment head who fails to reply to letters promptly ; 
for punctuality is one of our leader's strong 
points, and many women must have learned 
valuable lessons along this line from her." 

Mrs. Booth tells of a gentleman who 
was a collector of precious gems, saying 
that he stood one day in his little strong 
room, showing emeralds, diamonds, and 
pearls. Laying his hand upon one 
drawer he said: "In this are my most 
beautiful and treasured gems. They 



THE CLUB WOMAN 163 

are opals of such value and such price- 
less worth that they are more to me 
than all the rest," and he pulled the 
drawer out. The friend looked at them 
in surprise, for they seemed so dull. 
He expressed his disappointment, and 
they turned to the others again ; but as 
he turned, the owner took from the vel- 
vet that little pile of jewels, put them 
in his palm, and closed his hand upon 
them. In a few moments the jewel col- 
lector turned again and called his 
friend's attention to his open hand; it 
was full of sparkling, glittering gems 
that showed at a glance their priceless 
worth. His friend stood back in as- 
tonishment and said, "What has made 
the change?" He answered, "It is the 
warmth of the human hand, that is what 
they needed." 

It is just this touch of human sym- 
pathy, the warmth of the human hand, 
that is the power of Mrs. Pennybacker's 
life. 



IX 

THE SPEAKER 



To Mrs. Percy V. Pennybacker I extend 
hearty congratulations. From the days when 
at Chautauqua she gave unmistakable indica- 
tions of unusual abilities, I have followed with 
interest her development into national leadership 
among women. She combines marked executive 
capacity with well-poised judgment, unquench- 
able enthusiasm and singular persuasive power. 
— George E. Vincent 
(President University of Minnesota). 



IX 

THE SPEAKER 

"He who has truth at his heart need never fear 
the want of persuasion on his tongue." 

— Ruskin. 

UNLIKE Dr. Anna Howard 
Shaw, of whom it is said that 
she fainted while giving her 
first recitation at school— fainted from 
stage fright — Mrs. Pennybacker was 
born with a taste for public speaking. 
The development of this gift has un- 
doubtedly done more toward placing her 
where she is to-day than any other one 
qualification. Her first speech was 
made in the Sunday-school at the age 
of four, where she was called upon to 
repeat the books of the Bible forward 
and then backward. Although, in her 
second number, the possession of the 
handsomest doll in town was doubtless 

167 



168 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

responsible in some degree for her 
pleasure, there can be no question that 
she thoroughly enjoyed the experience 
itself. While in the public schools, in- 
stead of feeling anxious lest the teacher 
might call on her, she rather feared 
that the teacher might not do it. She 
gloried in recitations, and grieved that 
the purse of a minister's family was too 
small to include elocution lessons for 
the children. But she learned from the 
other girls the elocution assignments; 
and, choosing some secluded spot, prac- 
ticed and practiced them over and over 
again. The art of speaking continued 
to be of vital interest to her, develop- 
ing, as already noted, into an unusual 
gift of story-telling during her teach- 
ing days. Many warm friends came to 
her through her readings on different 
occasions, and she performed many a 
miracle of discipline by the appropriate 
story at the appropriate time. The 
summer before her marriage she took 
a course at the Canada summer quar- 
ters of the Philadelphia School of Dra- 
matic Expression. 



THE SPEAKER 169 

This gift, moveover, was not of the 
intermittent variety— noticeable only 
under the proper conditions of sur- 
rounding and mood — for Mrs. Penny- 
backer became known, also, as a bril- 
liant conversationalist. A friend says 
of this : 

"I first met Anna Hardwieke in 1885. She 
was a slender, lithe, vivid, enthusiastic young 
woman. Early responsibilities, voluntarily as- 
sumed, had given her initiative and self-reli- 
ance unusual at that time in the young women 
of Tyler, Texas — an always conservative town. 
So her proposal to do so advanced and radical 
a thing as to organize a woman's club received 
encouraging response from only a small band of 
valiant souls. But sure of herself then, as she 
has ever been, she insisted upon writing into 
our constitution difficult qualifications and a nar- 
row limit for membership. The wisdom of this 
was demonstrated early, while we slowly and 
surely gathered together fifteen earnest and in- 
teresting women, each an invaluable stimulus to 
the other. One of our early discussions on 'Table 
Talks,' as we called them, was the subject of 
'Conversation.' I remember distinctly that our 
leader said: c It is my dearest ambition to be a 
conversationalist who is able to put those at 
ease with whom I talk, and to draw out the 



170 MES. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

best that is in each/ Whether this is innate or 
acquired ability on her part, I do not know, 
but I do know that she possesses it in a high 
degree. I have never known a man, woman, or 
child, who has had the privilege of talking to 
her, who did not express pleasure in the enjoy- 
ment of her unusual gifts of language, descrip- 
tion, and sympathetic touch, and who did not 
also feel a renewed confidence in his or her own 
ability, and a desire to try out new possibilities. 
"She is the exceedingly rare combination: a 
writer, a speaker, and a conversationalist. A 
writer, with the habit of precision and careful 
avoidance of repetition, nearly always lacks the 
warmth that makes the moving speaker; and 
the speaker, with habits of analysis and the 
careful collection of material point by point 
to finally arrive at a definite conclusion, seldom 
shines as a conversationalist who must leap from 
subject to subject with a light touch that barely 
skims the surface. Yet Mrs. Pennybacker does 
these three things with a remarkable degree of 
excellence ; and in each one finds some phase of 
character emphasized which goes to make up 
[her] personality." 

Mrs. Pennybacker is known not only 
as a speaker and a conversationalist, 
but also as a graceful and efficient pre- 
siding officer. Liking orderliness and 
dispatch in the management of gather- 



THE SPEAKER 171 

ings, she made a systematic study of 
parliamentary procedure under the 
brother of Eoberts, the parliamenta- 
rian, at Chautauqua. Some one has 
said that Mrs. Pennybacker has 
brought into the Federation elements 
that she emphasized as a teacher; for 
instance, the two unpardonable sins in 
her school-room were tardiness and dis- 
order—she could never be happy unless 
the order in the room was above re- 
proach, and yet that order came 
through the affectionate co-operation 
of the student body. She knew per- 
fectly well there was no other way to 
win it— she did not want any other way. 
In the Federations she makes the dele- 
gates feel that she depends absolutely 
on them, and they rally to the call. 

"Mrs. Pennybacker,' ' says a member 
of the Federation Board, "is a genius 
as a presiding officer, combining alert- 
ness, tact, sympathy, and a keen sense 
of justice. At the Chicago Biennial, 
old newspaper reporters, accustomed to 
men's conventions, declared that they 
had never attended a meeting where 



172 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

such perfect order prevailed, and where 
business was dispatched with such ease 
and precision. 

"Her gifts as an orator are too well 
known to need reference, and yet no 
small part of her success as President 
of the General Federation is due to the 
fact that she has been able to go all 
over the United States appealing di- 
rectly in behalf of the higher things of 
life. Gifted to a very unusual degree 
with that strange power commonly 
called personal magnetism, her con- 
tact with club women everywhere has 
meant the imparting of new ideals 
and a kindling of fresh hope and 
courage, so that untold good has been 
accomplished for the individual woman 
and for the organization of which 
Mrs. Pennybacker is the radiant 
evangel." 

Tours in the interest of the Federa- 
tion have taken its President into the 
remote sections of the country. In re- 
porting to the Chicago Biennial she 
gave this schedule for the first twenty- 
one months of her term of service : 



THE SPEAKER 173 

"Early in September I began a round of pas- 
toral calls. During these twenty-one months I 
have traveled more than thirty thousand miles, 
visiting the State conventions of Wisconsin, 
Ohio, Illinois, Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Minne- 
sota, Louisiana, Arkansas, Virginia, Kentucky, 
North Carolina, Maryland, Kansas, Missouri, 
Iowa, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachu- 
setts, Rhode Island, Vermont, Nebraska, Colo- 
rado, South Dakota, North Dakota, Michigan, 
Indiana, Georgia, Delaware, Florida, and New 
York. 

"I have presided over the council meeting in 
Washington, board meetings in French Lick, 
Washington City, and Niagara Falls, and at- 
tended trustee meetings in Philadelphia. I have 
delivered addresses at Cincinnati, Highland 
Park, Illinois, Cook County League, Illinois, 
New Orleans, Fort Worth, Santa Fe, New 
Mexico, El Paso, and Dallas, Texas, Saint Louis, 
Chicago, Cleveland, and Washington; in Ches- 
ter, Pennsylvania; Grand Rapids, Michigan; 
Montgomery, Alabama; Jacksonville, Florida; 
Paducah, and Maysville, Kentucky; Charleston, 
South Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina; 
Sioux City, Iowa; Worcester, Massachusetts; 
Knoxville, Tennessee; Lincoln and Omaha, Ne- 
braska; Deadwood, South Dakota; and Nash- 
ville, Tennessee. 

"I have addressed the Peace Congress at Saint 
Louis; Teachers' convention in Fort Worth, 



174 MRS. PEECY V. PENNYBACKER 

Texas ; Corn Exposition in Dallas ; Child Labor 
Conference in New Orleans; two great assem- 
blies at Chautauqua, New York, and Hastings, 
Nebraska; Conservation Congresses in "Washing- 
ton and Knoxville ; and the School Hygiene Con- 
gress in Buffalo. I have been compelled to de- 
cline to address one hundred various state, 
national and foreign organizations/' 

Some of Mrs. Pennybacker's invita- 
tions to address other organizations 
have been amusing; for instance, she 
was urged to address a national meeting 
on "The Best Method of City Snow Re- 
moval." In regard to this invitation, 
she said: "As the greater part of my 
life has been spent in Texas, you will 
readily understand that what I do not 
know about snow removal would fill a 
large volume." 

Speaking on a variety of subjects, 
and often several times in each commu- 
nity, before both men's and women's 
audiences, she has delivered some mem- 
orable addresses. Perhaps those most 
widety known to the general public are : 

"The Service of Youth"; "Dangers 
that Threaten the American Home"; 



THE SPEAKER 175 

"The General Federation as a Socio- 
logical Force"; "Club Ethics"; "The 
School Manse"; "The Ideal Fourth of 
July"; "The Pageantry of Peace." 

On one occasion, when she partici- 
pated in a program in company with 
other speakers, Mrs. Pennybacker made 
the following impression on the mind of 
at least one member of her audience : 

"The most intensely interesting addresses were 
given by Mrs. Percy V. Pennybacker, of Texas, 
President of the General Federation, and by 
.... Mrs. Pennybacker is sometimes de- 
scribed as being 'small but mighty/ and one 
needs to see and hear her but once to be irre- 
sistibly drawn to the magnetic little woman, 
attractively gowned, simple and unpretentious 
in manner, unspoiled by her exalted position, 
inspired by her great love of humanity, as she 
pleads for efficiency, loyalty and co-operation 
in the work of women throughout our land." 

Certain it is that few artisans have 
at their command such an assortment of 
tools as has Mrs. Pennybacker when she 
works from the platform. The finished 
work reflects precision and care in re- 
gard to detail— care not only that the 



176 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

detail may not detract from the cause, 
but also that it may positively contrib- 
ute toward its accomplishment. Her 
enunciation is clear, her voice pure, 
strong, flexible, possessing a mellowness 
and an indefinable inflection of under- 
standing that charms her listeners. 
With the writer's fluency and grace in 
word pictures, with the scholar's store 
of accurate knowledge of subject-mat- 
ter, with the humanitarian touch of ex- 
perience and sympathy in personal ap- 
peal, she is nobly equipped, and, thus 
freed from limitations, she is conscious 
of nothing save a sense of liberty that 
comes only in the very presence of 
Truth— liberty enabling her to lift her 
audience from the lower levels of rou- 
tine living and to bring them with her 
into the rarer atmosphere of the moun- 
tain heights. Many symbols have been 
employed in the effort to characterize 
the messages of the great men of his- 
tory—those of the trumpet, the lighted 
lamp, the orchestra of many instru- 
ments, are familiar. Can there be a 
more appropriate symbol to character- 



THE SPEAKER 177 

ize the earnest zeal, the deep sense of a 
sacred mission, the devotion of the ser- 
vice of Mrs. Pennybacker, than that of 
the " Flaming Heart"? 



X 

THE WOMAN 



To me the noteworthy thing about Mrs. Penny- 
backer is the clearness of her understanding of 
women's position in the world of to-day and the 
force and beauty of her exposition of it. Even 
an old fogy could not withhold his admiration. 
— Wm. J. Battle 
(President University of Texas). 



THE WOMAN 

"The reason firm, the temperate will, 
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill; 
A perfect woman, nobly planned, 
To warn, to comfort, and command." 

— Wordsworth. 

MARK TWAIN, after looking 
long and intently out over the 
water on the occasion of his 
first sight of the ocean, said simply, 
"Well, she's a success." One is con- 
scious of the same emotion after con- 
tact with this representative woman of 
America. Student, educator, wife, 
mother, author, traveler, club woman, 
speaker— aptly may she be introduced, 
as once happened, as the "Little Ford," 
who has been not only "able to climb 
Alaskan hills and penetrate the wilds of 
the entire country," but also able to 

181 



182 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

climb the hills and penetrate the wilds 
of human experience. It has been said 
that Mrs. Pennybacker, who is about 
five feet in height, is "as small of figure 
as the state of Texas is large." But 
her poise and bearing are such that the 
same writer concludes, "She appears 
to have the genius of that vast state 
concentrated in her own small person." 
Her usefulness to the women of this 
generation has undoubtedly been for- 
warded by her practical regard in mat- 
ters of personal living. Simplicity and 
efficiency characterize all her habits. 
Eecognizing the sacredness of the body 
as the instrument of service, she rigidly 
observes the laws of health. She seldom 
goes to a large reception in the after- 
noon if scheduled for an address in the 
evening. "An indefatigable worker, she 
also knows how to throw off all care, 
and give herself up completely to rest," 
says a friend. "When she boards a 
train to go from one appointment to 
another, she often says to her com- 
panion: 'Now, I am going to close my 
eyes and relax for a half hour,' after 



THE WOMAN 183 

which she engages in conversation as 
eagerly as if she had had a whole night's 
sleep."" When very tired there are three 
things that she always finds restful: 
a good walk, or a drive along country 
roads ; a good novel, or a good play ; and 
a small dinner party of both men and 
women. 

The practice of saving time is one of 
her efficiency principles, a principle de- 
manding system. Consequently, while 
in transit she does much of her think- 
ing. And to avoid waste of energy, she 
keeps a note-book and jots down ideas 
as they come. Upon arriving at her 
destination, she secures a stenographer 
and rapidly turns off work, keeping up 
with her correspondence day by day. 
But in spite of it all, she longs for the 
luxury of just sitting around, with the 
opportunity to " invite her soul." 

But her friends, who know the quali- 
ties of her soul, realize that it awaits 
no invitation, but, though invisible, be- 
comes a real and vital factor in every 
concern of her life— trivial or great, it 
matters not. Never merely existing, 



184 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

never merely passive, she lives actively 
in a realm of genuine reality, of being, 
not seeming. Throughout her life there 
has been no time or place for the ready- 
made accomplishments that embellish 
the exterior solely. This spirit is, no 
doubt, the secret of her unspoiled na- 
ture; for, overwhelmed with honors, 
both personal and official, in this coun- 
try, Prance, England, and Germany, she 
remains justly democratic still, never 
failing to share honors and privileges, 
gladly paying tribute whenever pos- 
sible, always generously bringing out 
the backward and timid woman, whom 
she adopts as her special care. She is 
both the thinker and the doer. Though 
agreeing with Sophocles "that thoughts 
are mightier than strength of hand," 
she believes also that thought not trans- 
lated into action becomes wasted energy. 
She has, therefore, both the vision and 
the method, upon which she equally ex- 
pends the wealth of her talent, industry, 
and enthusiasm— withal evidencing a 
devotion and loyalty, commanding at 
once our interest and admiration. 



THE WOMAN 185 

Another observation regarding her is 
the fact that she is a growing character. 
In the little girl and in the student we 
discover the qualities of mind and soul 
that in maturity have brought her to 
the position she occupies to-day. One is 
impressed by the fact that this growth 
has been continuous. There are no bar- 
ren, waste places in her life's develop- 
ment, no periods of retrogression occa- 
sioned by a choice of the wrong trail. 

The degree to which she has identified 
herself with humanity in its ever- vary- 
ing vicissitudes is illustrated in part by; 
her wide and rich friendships. There 
is no question in her mind that what- 
ever success may be attributed to her 
career it is due largely to the friendship 
of good men and the love of good 
women. Of the breadth and the height, 
the length and the depth of these friend- 
ships, in their mutual relations, let her 
friends speak. One writes: 

Cf It is the people we live with in the closer 
intimacy of human touch, the people we yield 
to or resist, that help or retard our growth. A 
man is known by his friends as a tree by its 



186 MRS. PEECY V. PENNYBACKER 

fruit. Weir Mitchell, in his novel The Red 
City, makes Herr Schmidt reply, when a woman 
says to him, 'You have been such a friend to 
me/ *Yes I think I have a gift that way/ Mrs. 
Pennybacker also has a 'gift that way/ 

"I should like to write a new definition of the 
word 'friend' — 'a helpful person' — it would de- 
scribe Mrs. Pennybacker. 

"Among those of whose influence I am con- 
scious, Mrs. Pennybacker stands in the fore- 
ground. She has been to me the warm sunshine, 
the gentle rain, and the stimulating wind that 
have kept me from discouragement. I have seen 
her faithful under trying circumstances, for her 
friendship, once given, would never be lightly 
withdrawn. It is a theory of hers that if one 
looks only for the good in human character, and 
feeds it with kindness and affection, the evil 
gradually disappears. She has gone about the 
world on such a voyage of discovery and added 
to its store of uncounted wealth." 

Another gives this picture : 

"A keen sense of humor is one of Mrs. Penny- 
backer's fortunate characteristics, and I am glad 
to bear witness to her genuine enjoyment of 
social intercourse; her delight in young people; 
and her kindly attention to those timid souls 
who drop into the background at receptions and 
teas." 



THE WOMAN 187 

Another sends the following : 

"The greatest of all forms of genius is the 
genius for human sympathy; the power to see 
through the eyes into the individual soul with 
its special characteristics and cravings, and at 
once set up personal relations. Such a faculty 
is truly characteristic of Mrs. Pennybacker. In 
the little journeys that I have made with her, 
I have watched it play like a soft light about 
her, and flash back from face after face, awaken- 
ing in a moment a real affection. Again and 
again she shows, how she remembers, not only 
the outer person, but measures and treasures 
the inner personality, 'not with flaw-seeking 
eyes like needle points, but loving — kindly/ as 
Lowell said of another tender-minded woman. 

"Peculiarly fortunate is it that the President 
of the Federation, traveling from South to 
North, and from West to East, should carry 
with her this power of fusing lives and inter- 
ests, great and small, prosperous and tragic, 
achieving or only aspiring, into our democratic 
whole. No wonder that a man in a North Da- 
kota audience called in farewell, 'Good-bye, dear 
Little Dixie!' It was a symbol of the under- 
standing heart that is the crown of leadership." 

After her trip to Alaska, which gave 
her a vision of the whole of the Ameri- 
can Continent, she brooded much over 



188 MES. PEECY V. PENNYBACKEE 

the opportunities of such united re- 
sources, while en route to San Fran- 
cisco. She was deeply impressed, in 
reaching that city, by the fact that her 
first caller was Madame de Broggi of 
Buenos Ayres, with an invitation for 
her to visit South America, and a chal- 
lenge to the club women of North 
America, in the exclamation: "How 
long will our sisters of the North be 
blind to our cry and deaf to our needs?" 
This rare "genius for human sym- 
pathy" was beautifully expressed by 
Mrs. Pearl Randall Wasson, of Ver- 
mont, in a tribute to Mrs. Pennybacker, 
published in the General Federation 
Magazine: 

"I cannot tell you just the reason why 
That all who hear you silent tribute pay. 
It is not beauty rare, nor power to sway 
With subtle charm alone, nor manner high 
Like a slow radiance from beneath a cloud 
Which, growing ever greater, floods the 

ground — 
So creeps abroad your influence profound 
As sunshine, light and beauty, wondrous proud, 
A power for good, a sympathy which heals 



THE WOMAN 189 

The hearts too roughly touched by thoughtless 

truth, 
The spirits roughened by the grief of youth, 
A touch which brightens, and a love which seals 
With bonds of growing friendship, deep and 

true, 
One million women-hearts in loyalty to you." 

She herself says: "Nothing better 
expresses my hope and prayer for the 
great-hearted women of America than 
the following ' Collect, ' written by Miss 
Stewart of Montana: 

" 'Keep us, God, from pettiness, 

Let us be large in thought, in word and deed. 

Let us be done with fault-finding, 

And leave off self-seeking. 

May we put away all pretense and meet each 

other face to face, 
Without self-pity and without prejudice. 
May we be never hasty in judgment and always 

generous. 
Let us take time for all things. 
Make us grow calm, serene, gentle. 
Teach us to put into action our better impulses, 
Straightforward and unafraid. 
Grant that we may realize that it is the little 

things 
That create differences: that in the big things 

of life 



190 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

We are one, and may we strive to touch and to 

know 
The great, common Woman's heart of us all, 
And, Lord God, let us forget not to be kind/ " 

John Ruskin declares: "He is the 
greatest artist who has embodied in the 
sum of his works the greatest number 
of the greatest ideals.' ' If this be the 
test, the life work of Mrs. Percy V. 
Pennybacker will fulfill her little girl 
aspiration to leave a permanent contri- 
bution to the race. One who is doubtful 
of the substantial character of the re- 
cent progress of womanhood need only 
consider the status of woman in the 
nineteenth century, of which Florence 
Nightingale wrote: 

"There is an old legend that the nineteenth 
century is to be a century of women — but up 
to this time, 1851, it has not been theirs. Women 
have made extra intellectual developments; but 
as human beings cannot move two feet at once 
except they jump, so while the intellectual foot 
of woman has taken a step in advance, the 
practical foot has remained behind. Woman 
stands askew. Her education for action has not 
kept pace with her education for acquirement. 



THE WOMAN 191 

The woman of the eighteenth century was per- 
haps happier when practice and theory were 
more on a par than her more cultivated sister 
of the nineteenth century. The latter wishes 
but does not know how to do many things. The 
former what she wished, at least that she could 
do." 

What the nineteenth century has 
failed in accomplishing for woman, the 
twentieth century is rapidly attaining. 
And may it not be claimed for Mrs. 
Pennybacker, guided, as she has been in 
steering that great body of women, the 
General Federation of Women's Clubs, 
by the true educational ideal; domi- 
nated by a keen sense of the inestimable 
value of the individual ; driven by a new 
patriotism, an internationalism— may 
it not be claimed that she has hastened 
the day we are now witnessing when 
the practical foot of woman is moving 
into place beside the advanced intellec- 
tual foot of the nineteenth century ? To 
be sure, the tread is not noiseless, for 
we hear of much criticism, of much rest- 
lessness and discontent among women 
—particularly among college women. 



192 MRS. PERCY V. PENNYBACKER 

There are times, indeed, when the 
unique character of woman as a home- 
maker appears defaced ; when the posi- 
tion of woman as a champion of the 
"true, the beautiful and the good," 
appears unsteady. But in Mrs. Penny- 
backer we see foreshadowed the com- 
plete woman of the twentieth century, 
standing solidly on both feet, with poise 
indicative of a clear mind, a strong 
body, a sympathetic heart, and a willing 
hand. 



Printed in the United States of America. 



15 

R01bl3 131M0 



•assort 





R0ibi3 wim*